Conquering my nerves to become a confident commuter
I first heard of Cycle Sisters in 2016 from my friend Maryam, who had started going out for rides with her sister in law and founder Sarah. At first I was reluctant to go as I was working full time, wasn’t a strong cyclist and didn't feel safe cycling on the road at all. She was very persuasive and I gave in and asked for a day off so I could go on my first ride. There were only a few ladies but it was a lovely atmosphere and Sarah was very patient as I wasn't a strong rider.
I learnt to ride when I was a child but before Cycle Sisters would only cycle around parks on my kid’s bikes. It was lovely that you didn't need a bike as they had ones to borrow and the first ride was great. There was conversation, the pace was good and they stopped at a cafe and I love a good coffee and sweet treat! When it was finished i couldn't wait for the following week to get back on the bike. A few months later I brought a second hand bike so I could cycle around my local area with my kids as I felt more confident.
Last summer I decided that maybe I should start commuting to work on a bike - I was spending a lot of money on public transport and knew it would be a lot healthier if I could cycle. I had also started to feel a lot more confident with cycling on the roads. I live in Tottenham and work in Tower Hamlets so my first step was to take the train halfway and then cycle the rest. Then I built up to cycling the whole way - it’s a 9 mile ride and takes me 45 minutes. I love it - I go along the canals and through Victoria Park and at 7am, when I’m heading to work, it’s really quiet. When winter came it wasn’t so easy to keep this up so I invested in a beautiful pink Brompton which gives me more flexibility to hop on a train depending on the weather and has kept me commuting through the winter.
I’ve also trained as a Cycle Sisters Ride Leader and in February this year I arranged a cycling trip to Amsterdam for our lovely sisters. Twenty of us went and it was an amazing experience. It was great to see how it’s very cycle friendly in the Netherlands and how cyclists have right of way.
I love the freedom you have on a bike, you get to see places you wouldn't usually see while on a bus or while driving. I love that Cycle Sisters aren't afraid to explore, find safe cycle routes and are always going to different places.
“I was spending a lot of money on public transport and knew it would be a lot healthier if I could cycle...I built up to cycling the whole way."