Atuku brilliantly describes cycling as "like having your very own horse." She has been getting about by bike for 35 years. She does it to maintain her health, to keep her weight down and to be in the fresh air. Her advice: "Instead of getting expensive gym membership, just buy a bike!"
Carl has owned a bike for 20 years. He describes himself as a fair weather cyclist and uses his bike instead of the car for local trips. He says three miles on his bike is much quicker than going in a car.
June’s trike gives her the freedom she loves. She uses it to get round most local journeys and describes how being out on three wheels always ‘lifts’ her spirits and ‘brightens' her mood.
Hafsa moved to a neighbourhood where roads are closed to through traffic, which means she feels safer getting out and about on foot with her son and feels the neighbourhood has a true sense of community now it's somewhere for people to connect and children can play safely.
Kay was introduced to a handcycle through the charity Wheels for Wellbeing and it’s been life changing. It’s her main form of transport and attaches to her manual wheelchair, ensuring she can go where she needs to go without driving a car. For Kay it’s the best way to move around, both for her mental and physical health and she wants to see more changes made to help other disabled people cycle too.
Daniel uses his bike to get to work and has done for the last five years. He loves that it is free and that he doesn't have to sit in traffic on his journey, making it quicker.
Trevor, 82, loves to walk. He's had a hip and a knee replacement in recent years but he can do anything in the gym that the youngsters do. A big motivator for walking is to maintain his good health.
Daisy loves the freedom of cycling. At the moment her Mum won't let her cycle on the roads and worries about her a lot. Daisy says her life would be a lot easier if there were dedicated cycle lanes. She says that she hopes by the time she is a teenager it will be much easier for her to cycle around Greater Manchester.
Mayor Andy Burnham started cycling his commute during lockdown and explains how cycling benefits everyone by cutting congestion and cleaning up our air. He also uses the time to clear his head and he arrives at his desk refreshed and ready for the day.
After a 30-year gap, Gordon is back cycling and he loves it. His specially adapted trike means he cycles at least twice a week and takes his son along for the ride too. For Gordon, it doesn’t feel like a chore, instead it’s ‘another way of getting round and keeping fit’.
Sarah cycles because she likes her independence and she doesn't have to worry about finding a parking space. She has cycled through thunderstorms and lightning storms and every time her "trusty steed" has got her home.
Elsie and Frida's story
Elsie and Frida cycle to school, walk to school and they sometimes get the bus. They like that they get exercise and it's better than "sitting down" in a car. They say you can have "a really interesting, long chat if you go on your bike." Not mention that it keeps you fit and it helps the planet.
Kwame likes the social side of cycling - the fact that you meet other cyclists. He says "it's great because you become part of a community." Kwame believes that a healthy body is a healthy mind. Lastly, it's not just for fitness, he says cycling is also really efficient.
Laura loves the efficiency of cycling. It helps her to get places more quickly and to get more things done. She can carry things in her basket and sees her bike as an extension of herself. Laura also explains that she is agoraphobic and that without her bike she feels she would "hardly go out at all." Lastly, Laura makes the point that she's got a "built in gym, which is always a useful thing."
Saleema says that using her bike saves a lot of travel costs. She says it gives her some physical activity time outdoors and she feels like she has done some exercise, meaning that she doesn't need a gym. Saleema says she would encourage people from her community to use bikes often. She says that instead of using the car to go and buy bread or milk, "just take your bike instead."
Mike uses his bike to get to work and to keep fit at weekends. He finds it really clears his head in the morning before work, and enjoys getting fresh air. It saves him money because he doesn't need to buy a season ticket or pay for parking in the city centre.
Libby uses her bike to get from A to B and B to A. It means "going to work and back for no money." She uses her bike to go to the shops and to go out in the evening. She goes to the cinema, to the theatre, on bike rides with friends. Even going on holiday. "Everything really," she says. Libby says her car mostly sits on her drive and that she gets to work "feeling invigorated" and cycles to "wake herself up on the way home."
Sarah writes a blog called The Urban Wanderer which is about encouraging people to get out on foot and have adventures. Sarah says "on two feet you step out of your door and you are on your way." Sarah loves walking as she gets to meet new people, finds neat little shortcuts and gets to explore areas that you wouldn't see in a car.
Walking is important to Erik. She grew up in a rural area and as a blind person often faced challenges. Walking around Greater Manchester helps give Erik independence, so she can go from A to B by herself – whether that’s going to work or heading to the shops – and walking ‘helps you have a kind of relationship with where you live’.
Having a dog gives Paul the motivation he needs to stay active, making him go out and get walking. Now Paul can see the benefits walking brings, for both his mental and physical health, as well as getting fresh air and sunlight each day.
David has lived in the area for 50 years and since the introduction of a modal filter in his neighbourhood, he's seen more people walking and cycling their journeys, children playing out and he says it's given the residents their neighbourhood back.
Precious wanted to learn to ride a bike so she could mix up her fitness instead of running all the time, as well as travelling more sustainably. After trying to learn on her own, she took our Learn to Ride course which gave her the skills she wanted, as well as the belief that she could ride, thanks to encouragement from her instructor.
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