How to be a Cycle hero #inclusivecycling

giphyWho do you know who’s a cycling hero?

What do they look like? What does any cyclist look like?

Here’s my inspiration for setting challenges in cycling: a friend who decided to set a big goal and only really worried about the possibility of rain on the day she began her cycle challenge.

Tandem bikes and inclusive cycling

In 2016 Lynne decided to take on a 60 mile London to Cambridge cycle challenge. She learned to ride a tandem bike at school, but it had been some time since she’d been out cycling. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Well, Lynne happens to have a visual impairment so it’s a bit trickier than ‘just hop on a bike and get training’. The cycle ride was organised through Cambridge charity CamSight- so even that was do-able, if you happen to be determined & prepared to put in the time needed to train.

Lynne was recovering from a kidney transplant when she decided that this might be a great way ahead, a challenge to set for her recovery. I think its fair to establish that Lynne is both an inspiration to all, and has a relaxed attitude to danger.

Get into training & get on that bike

Once Lynne had recovered she know that she wanted to begin exercising again. Cycling is for everyone and bikes can be adapted to anyone’s needs. CamSight use tandem bikes with a sighted volunteer to help people to get out and enjoy cycling. Lynne talked about how much she loves exercising outdoors. I agree with her!IMG_0438

What’s it like to get back on a tandem bike with a sighted partner? Lynne says she was worried at first. scared that she might fall off and she was still in recovery from her op. She was nervous about getting onto the bike with a sighted partner but began to build up to longer bike rides of 30 miles at the weekends. Wow!

 

London to Cambridge – just the 60 miles then?

On the big day itself the bikes were transferred to London by coach. The ride was to begin in Lee Valley leisure centre and finish at  Midsummer common. It was sponsored by ARM, who I think provided the snazzy T-shirt in the photo below. Lynne and her sighted volunteer trustee, Sean Rock set off from Cambridge at 8.15, one of the few traffic obstacles happened in the roads around Cambridge  (of course!) the actual bike ride went pretty smoothly.

There were six stops along the way for water & food or bike repair. Lynne remembers that Whittlesford village, which was the last stop before Cambridge had turned out to cheer people on and welcome the CamSight bike ride through the village.

Lynne had trained hard and managed the bike ride in around 7 hours, which included a lunch break : ) Personally, I would still be cycling if I attempted 60 miles!

 

Lynne with Saffron her dog:

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What next?

There are some other challenging bike rides Lynne could embark on next – although she says she needs to get bcak into training if she wants to attempt another long distance cycle.

#inclusivecycle

What can we do to make cycling an activity for everyone in our community? Great, safe infracture of course. How about more adapted bikes or tandems on our roads? I’d like to see images of all knids of cyclists in books & films as a way to normalise cycling.

CamSight is a great charity who support visually impaired people in Cambridgeshire ‘from babies of a few months old, a lady of 111 and all in between’ (from their website) I’m sure they’d love a donation so that more people can be helped- visit their brilliant website at @camsight.org.uk or text EYES46 to 70070 to make a donation.

Gwydir St Hive,Cambridge

A fantastic place to buy a gift

I like all things green and plastic free, I’m attempting to cut down on the new and shiny. I’ve been won over by Tara Button’s ‘Buy me Once’ campaign. So how about making this Antique & Vintage shop the first place you go to buy a gift?

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 Quality pre-loved clothes

The Hive has a lots of tiny departments inside, all of which are intriguing and worth exploring. i loved the clothes section which I incorrectly thought was vintage it’s not it’s top brands, excellently curated pre loved clothes. They are good quality and chosen with care. which is exactly what the antique market is all about.

I don’t think that these clothes were likely to end up in landfill, but did you know that 235m items of clothing are likely to end up in landfill this season?                                      Not per year, per season. That’s a grim statistic!  How about looking at the quality clothes on offer at The Hive and buying once but buying well?  If you follow @thehive on twitter you can see the clothes & prices on offer.

 

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Vintage fabrics: reclaim the love

This is one of the reinvented Vintage lamps @GwydirStHive:  The fabric is vintage from the mid century:  1950s through to 1970s, it would make a perfect gift for a new home. Everything at The Hive and Cambridge antiques look new and cared for. There are up cycled furniture to be had, glassware and jewellery. It’s a fun place to browse for a treasure.

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This is why its not a second hand store:

I was fascinated by the items on sale at The hive, the people running the store were kind and helpful, they took time to talk to me about the differences I could see around me. The lovely things aren’t new, they’re not charity store and they’re not quite second hand either they look fresh and modern. Why?

Because they have been carefully selected by auction or though sale and they have been repaired and refurbished.

An expert antique dealer can spot items which have value and can restore them for resale,so that a much loved item can continue to be used for many more years. IMG_0283

Invest in the future recycle the past

Gwydir St Hive is a wonderful place to visit for a gift or a browse. It’s easy to find at the point where Gwydir St meets the Mill Road. it’s opposite the old Bath houses and right next door to Hot Numbers for a coffee. The people running the shops are experts at finding and collecting ask them to tell you about the goodies they sell.

Give a vintage item a new home, buy once and buy well. Let’s stop being a throwaway society.

How green is your garden (centre)?

Scotsdale’s garden centre,Shelford

Last week I visited my local garden centre to speak to staff about recycling. Actually,no I didn’t I went to Scotsdale’s to buy plants,entertain my toddler and eat cake in the Sunflower cafe, but I got lucky and a few members of staff were kind enough to talk to me about staying green.

What can a garden centre do to encourage recycling / green initiatives?

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Well here’s one way:  gardener’s club for primary school aged children. The garden club hold small themes, such as making a bird box and help children to understand how to encourage wildlife into the garden. School parties also use this to find out about growing plants & caring for creepy crawlies.  Of course, they also sell a huge selection of seeds and nuts and bird boxes. Good deal cheaper than most properties round here!

Sunflower cafe

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Best part of the morning : ) delicious cakes, friendly staff and they sell @teapigs which are plastic free. Although, my principals tend to waver when faced with tea & cake, so I was going to have tea, plastic or not. This cafe recycles coffee grounds and all of its cardboard. However, these are not the reasons why I like this cafe. There is something unique about the Sunflower cafe in terms of it’s inclusivity and service. People are genuinely welcomed here, irrespective of age or ability. There is space for wheelchair users and staff regularly carry trays to tables, which is fantastic, if you have small children or need assistance. The staff make huge accomodation to welcome people and encourage people with learning disability or additional needs to be included. Also they sell great cake, did I mention that?

What do they do with all that cardboard?

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All of their cardboard is offered to visitors to take home and reuse or it is crushed and recycled. You can help yourself to boxes at the till point or ask a member of staff. I think they have a difficulty in that they must sell plants in good condition and they come in black plastic pots which can’t be recycled. I’m sure Soctsdale’s will choose recyclable ones when /if they become available. They do not sell peat based compost.

#plasticfree?

Not entirely. But look at what a garden centre does- it gets us city types growing food and flowers. It sells books to teach us how to grow some greenery and gives us expert advice on how to keep them alive long enough to look at or eat. I’m filling my house with houseplants again because I can’t really afford a designer interior- I mean because they are beautiful. And cheap. It’s an inclusive community with friendly,expert staff. They allowed my own wildlife in the shape of CargoCity2 to have a great day out and we left with bird food,plants and cake. Yay!

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Why Cargo?

Have you noticed the strange ‘Wheelbarrow bikes’  all over Cambridge city,they’re everywhere! No wonder we’re being called a Cargo city.

Ever wondered what its like to try one? Perhaps you’ve wondered how they differ from the usual two wheeled bicycle?

Cb1Precious cargo is all about bikes ~ Cargos, inclusive cycling, tips on how to get your kid to cycle. safety tips and where you can go once you’ve mastered the beast.

Why me? I’m not a super fit, marathon running guru. I was the kind of child who got banned from biking, on the grounds that I’d probably just zoom out into London traffic.  (Yup,they were right) So I learned to ride when I was a little older. 24.

Sometimes, I’m frightened by traffic so I choose to cycle through parks and on quiet backstreets. My point is that cycling is for everyone – kids,busy parents, people with additional needs,people who find #cyclingeasierthanwalking. People who cannot be trusted to learn when they are six.

Where can I go?

You can can get away from traffic on our world class network of cycle routes, have you tried the DNA pathway yet? see @cb1preciouscargo on twitter for how to get there.

You can bike directly to the heart of the city for work or to take the tourist route and see Hogwarts,sorry Cambridge universities.

You can park your bike safely and use bike lockers and hire a pushchair.

Cargo bikes are a big investment

Have you seen the price of parking in Cambridge? Add the cheeky latte and the delicious lunch you bought and you’re half way to being able to afford one!

Ok- they are an investment but as everyone knows, bikes are often the only vehicles moving on our congested roads. You can take the kids to school via parks and green spaces. You can fill your Cargo bike with shopping, your laptop, a dog, someone else’s dog and still get home before the bus.

It’s good for you and the environment

You know it already:  it’s free exercise in the fresh air, it reduces air pollution, it’s safe for children, it saves money and…

#familycycling

When I take my Cargo bike to nursery,people smile and they stop and ask me about the bike. My daughter likes to travel in comfort with a blanket and a teddy. So I was inspired to write a blog all about where you can go and what you can do.

There’s some unashamed persuasion to live sustainably and reminder that cycling is for all of our community.

Cargocitymum @Cb1preciouscargo – Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

I want to persuade you to try a Cargo, we’re a really friendly bunch, ask a Cargo cyclist what it’s like and how they use it. They might let you have a go!