Wom+n’s workshops a winner at Ride On

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Ride On’s vision for a clean, healthy and more active Exeter and Devon has moved closer to its goal with the introduction of Wom+n’s Workshop sessions.

The bicycle maintenance workshops have been running since July at the charity’s base at Exeter Quay. They are intended to be as inclusive as possible and are aimed at anyone who identifies as a woman or non-binary. The term ‘wom+n’ is used to underline inclusivity and to be clear that the workshops have been created explicitly to include women of colour, trans women, femme/feminine-identifying genderqueer and non-binary folks and any other person who may feel discriminated against in some areas of feminism. 

The idea is to create a women-led, pressure-free space for learning new mechanical skills and to encourage more women to get out on their bikes regularly.

“The workshop was a real positive to come from the last year between lockdowns,” says Kirsten Berggren, who runs the workshops with Anna Ross and mechanics Karen Stokes and Julia Roquette. 

 “It grew from both Anna and I – probably coming from quite male dominated careers – wanting to create a space to empower women and non-binary people within the cycling industry.”

Initial market research demonstrated there was a huge interest in the proposed workshops with over 50 people signing up before the sessions started, although numbers in the workshop have had to be limited to four participants per session. 

“We’ve had a range of cyclists in from ‘just bought my first bike’ to ‘I ride all the time and race,’” adds Kirsten. Most attendees have been regular keen cyclists but with no previous experience of bicycle mechanics.

Anna and Kirsten have loved running the sessions so far. “Everyone’s been lovely, great students; so eager to get stuck in and learn,” says Anna. “Their enthusiasm and appreciation is infectious and heart-warming! 

“We started with basic mechanics, puncture repair and changing a tyre as these were the skills most people said they wanted to learn. We want to move on to cleaning, maintenance and bike checks next, and then to brakes, gears, and other aspects of the bike. 

“If people attend multiple sessions and learn a new skill each time we hope they will eventually have built up so much more confidence in bike mechanics and looking after their bikes, as well as developing a relationship with Ride On and making new friends.”

The plan is to start regular social bike rides too, and other social events such as film nights. Anna and Kirsten are keen to develop the workshops so more people can benefit from them and learn basic bicycle mechanics. 

If you would like to know more about the Wom+n’s Workshop sessions have a look at https://www.rideoncycling.org/community/#womnsworkshop  or contact the workshop team on [email protected] 

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Notes for Editors

Ride On – Cycling for All

Ride On is Exeter’s hub for all things bike related. If you need a bike call us on 07544 14749 to make an appointment and come and look at our refurbished bikes for sale.

We also provide bicycle maintenance courses and Ready to Ride sessions for key workers, including basic bike maintenance and set up.

Due to Coronavirus the weekly Bring Your Own Bike DIY maintenance sessions are not running, but Ride On’s Fix it at Home initiative consists of some useful and informative videos, especially for gear indexing and brake adjustment issues. See the website for details www.rideoncycling.org

Find us on Facebook

Twitter @RideOnExeter

Instagram @RideOnExeter

Registered charity: 1174055

Free Dr Bike checks at Exmouth School

Ride On Cycling for All ran a free Dr Bike session on Thursday 15 July at Littleham Primary School in Exmouth, as a thank you to the town for donating bikes to the charity.

Dr Bike checks involve a 20-point safety check and minor adjustments to improve the smooth running of bikes.

Cycling plays a key role in learning at Littleham Primary school, which provides Bikeability lessons, a Ride for Pleasure initiative, and a cycling After School club.

“It’s fantastic that the Dr Bike sessions are happening now as we’re planning a Year 6 Celebration Ride on Woodbury Common at the end of term for children who will be moving on to secondary school,” says Sarah Padbury, Head of Learning & PE. “It means all the children’s bikes should be in good working order for the ride.”

Will Page, Head of Charity at Ride On – Cycling For All, said “We’re delighted to provide this service for free to Littleham Primary School. We’ve benefited from the generosity of Exmouth Town Council and Exmouth residents, with our charity receiving over 40 bicycles so far. This is just the start of us saying thank you, by giving things back for free!”

Notes for editors 

Ride On – Cycling for All is a local charity based at Exeter Quay that recycles unwanted bicycles and helps make cycling safe, enjoyable, and accessible to everyone. Ride On has a vision for a cleaner healthier and more active Exeter. The aim of Ride On is to get more people on affordable bikes, whilst offering education and training to keep them on the move, improve mental and physical health and wellbeing through cycling and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions. 

www.rideoncycling.org

[email protected] 

Ride On – Cycling for All is registered with the Charity Commission: No.1174055

NHS social prescribing project to continue!

An NHS Social Prescribing Cycling for Recovery initiative has been given the go-ahead to continue to run its weekly cycle group in Exeter until November. Organised by the Devon Community Forensic Team, part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, the group which started in October last year, uses Ride On bikes to facilitate the cycle rides, and additional funding also now means they will have the support of a Ride On staff member or a volunteer once a month.

The Community Forensic Team work to support people who are being discharged from a secure hospital, to help them develop their independence and community living skills. 

“We are planning to book some workshop sessions to offer bike maintenance training,” says Chloe Rosser, Senior Occupational Therapist. “We were only able to offer one of these during the first project unfortunately because of covid restrictions. 

“We also hope to plan longer rides over the summer. We have welcomed a new individual and expect that in the upcoming months some people will progress on from our team and transfer to a local community mental health team, and we will have some new individuals who will be able to access the group. 

We’re also hoping to offer some additional sessions on an ad hoc basis in other areas such as Dawlish.”

Initially, the Cycling for Recovery project was facilitated by Chloe and two colleagues, however they now have a team of core members to help facilitate the group. This has been a great opportunity for staff to engage with each person in a shared interest, exploring different cycle routes.

The social prescribing cycle group is having a positive influence on the people who use our service. “Their confidence, communication skills and overall fitness has improved. One individual has also reported that their confidence using public transport has improved because of regularly using the bus to make their way independently to the group,” says Chloe. “You can clearly see the sense of achievement when we get back to the yard after the ride; they enjoy knowing how far we have cycled and have told us that they look forward to coming along to the group.

“Some individuals have taken more of a leadership role at times when leading some of the rides. This gives them a sense of purpose, again improving their confidence and interpersonal skills.” 

The Community Forensic Team have also purchased some bikes from Ride On which have been used on a few occasions by a staff member and an individual who is currently still in hospital. This has enabled the team to offer opportunities for people who now are unable to attend the group in Exeter. “We hope we can continue to offer such opportunities, “adds Chloe.

“One of the bikes we purchased for one of our supported accommodation providers, where one person resides, has been used by this individual to cycle to work in the Exeter area. He says this has made a difference for him in that it is much quicker to get to work now.”

Thanks to the cycle group, another individual gained confidence to approach Ride On to ask for more information about a voluntary role. He has recently started this temporary voluntary opportunity with the Bike Bank which takes place at the Ride on workshop. 

Will Page, Head of Charity at Ride On – Cycling for All, said: “We’re really delighted that this partnership is developing so well, and to see the real improvements the people on the program are making. I took the group out for a hilly ride last week and it was great to see how their fitness and confidence levels have improved so much over the last year. Both the NHS staff and participants deserve huge credit for keeping this going.”

Notes for editors 

Ride On – Cycling for All is a local charity based at Exeter Quay that recycles unwanted bicycles and helps make cycling safe, enjoyable, and accessible to everyone. Ride On has a vision for a cleaner healthier and more active Exeter. The aim of Ride On is to get more people on affordable bikes, whilst offering education and training to keep them on the move, improve mental and physical health and wellbeing through cycling and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions. 

www.rideoncycling.org 

[email protected] 

Ride On – Cycling for All is registered with the Charity Commission: No.1174055

The Devon Community Forensic Team is part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust which provides mental health and learning disability services across Devon, the wider Southwest and nationally.

The team was established in 2018, being one of three sites awarded contracts by NHS England to become pilot sites for new community forensic teams. The focus of the team during the pilot has been on accelerating the discharge of patients from secure inpatient services, with a focus on supporting transition, reintegration into the community and improving quality of life. 

https://www.dpt.nhs.uk/our-services/secure-care/community-services/devon-community-forensic-service-dcfs

Pedal Powered High Streets

Press Release…. Press Release…. Press Release….

Ride On – Cycling for All will be delivering 25 Dr Bike sessions over the summer in Princesshay in Exeter, and checking 275 bikes belonging to shoppers, workers, and local residents as part of their pedal powered high streets campaign.

This latest bike-focused initiative is being funded with £2.5k from the Big Give, a national charitable crowdfunding platform, and matched funding of £2.5k from Live & Move, which promotes active lifestyles in Exeter & Cranbrook.

High Streets are facing a hugely challenging trading environment. Princesshay in Exeter is keen to welcome people back and, with the need to reduce car congestion and get people physically active, Ride On want to use pedal power to kick start the economic recovery on our high street.

Cycling UK estimates that 16.5 million bikes are sat unused in sheds with issues that could be fixed quickly. Dr Bike could be exactly that quick fix you need to get you back on your bike.

“We will provide free 30-minute bike checks on the high street to shoppers, staff and residents over the summer with this funding,” explains Will Page, Head of Charity at Ride On. “Our mechanics can fix simple issues like loose brakes, slipping gears and make sure your bike is safe whilst you buy a coffee, or do your shopping.”

“This will create an incentive for shoppers to visit the high street by bike, it will help retail and hospitality staff switch their commute to bike, and help local residents get their unused bicycles back into working order.”

One happy Dr Bike customer reported:

”I recently booked an appointment with Ride On to get my bike safety checked. I have to say the service was fantastic, the mechanic was so patient and helped me to understand what was required for my bike! He explained all about the gears, chains, brakes etc. Half an hour went extremely quickly.”

James Bogue, programme lead for Live and Move says: ” We are delighted to be supporting local charity Ride On Exeter to deliver these Dr-Bike sessions in the city centre. It will be a really good opportunity for people in Exeter to get their bikes checked over and give them the confidence to travel safely. This means people can be more active by making every day journeys by cycling.”

Councillor Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity at Exeter City Council said, “Having the chance to get your bike looked at by a professional for free is a really good way to get into or get back into cycling, confident that you can rely on your bike. There are so many cycle routes across and around the city now, with work going on to improve them further. Cycling is a great way to be active, whether you’re traveling, commuting for work or just for fun. It’s great to see Live and Move supporting this initiative and I’m looking forward to seeing many more Dr. Bike sessions over the summer.”

For more information go to www.rideoncycling.org

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Notes for Editors

Ride On – Cycling for All

Ride On is Exeter’s hub for all things bike related. If you want to donate an old bike have a look on the Ride On website for a list of drop off points, bring your bike to our workshop at Exeter Quay or give us a call on 07544 14749.

If you need a bike visit our website to book an appointment to view our bikes here: https://www.rideoncycling.org/book-an-appointment/

Due to Coronavirus the weekly Bring Your Own Bike DIY maintenance sessions are not running, but Ride On’s Fix it at Home initiative consists of some useful and informative videos, especially for gear indexing and brake adjustment issues. See the website for details www.rideoncycling.org

Find us on Facebook

Twitter @RideOnExeter

Instagram @RideOnExeter

Registered charity: 1174055

Ride On treats NHS staff to free Dr Bike checks

Ride On Cycling for All has been awarded £4,000 from the South West Water Community Fund Project to provide free bike check sessions to NHS staff.

A total of 198 staff at community hospitals in Crediton, Tiverton, Honiton, Exmouth, Dawlish, Teignmouth, and Newton Abbot will benefit from 18 free ‘Dr Bike’ events between June and October.

Dr Bike sessions consist of 30-minute slots in which mechanics carry out a 20-point safety check, making minor adjustments to improve the smooth running of bicycles. Ride On does not do commercial servicing, so if further work is required we will refer them to a bike shop in their local area.

“We focused on NHS staff at the RD&E in Exeter last year, with our free Dr Bike checks” explained Will Page, Ride On Head of Charity. “We were really keen to start supporting NHS staff across the wider region, particularly those at community hospitals which are really valued by local people. We’re incredibly grateful to South West Water for funding this project.”

In line with the current Covid-19 measures, Ride On’s Dr Bike sessions will take place outside, mechanics will observe social distancing, wear masks, gloves, and disinfect contact points of bicycles before and after working on them.

“The Covid -19 pandemic has been an incredibly stressful time for NHS staff,” adds Will. “The bike checks will help them keep cycling, promote wellbeing and reduce stress.”

The NHS is keen to support staff cycling to work as it’s a great way to keep socially distanced as well as being good for their health and reducing pollution. 38% of car journeys in the UK are less than two miles, a distance that could easily be cycled. Support for projects like Dr Bike will help reduce the number of car journeys and the associated pollution and congestion.

There’s been plenty of positive feedback from NHS staff who took part in the RD&E Dr Bike sessions.

One NHS staff member commented: “I left feeling more empowered to ‘have a go’ myself in future, equipped with the understanding to make basic safety checks and maintenance, from oiling the chain to checking wear and tread on tyres.”

Another said: “… the service was fantastic; the mechanic was so patient……. He explained all about the gears, chains, brakes etc. Half an hour went really quickly and now the ride of the bike is so much smoother.”

For more information on the Ride On Dr Bike sessions at local community hospitals get in touch with Ride On. Contact details below.

Notes for Editors

Ride On – Cycling for All

Ride On is Exeter’s hub for all things bike related. If you need a bike call us on 07544 14749 to make an appointment and come and look at our refurbished bikes for sale.

We also provide bicycle maintenance courses and Ready to Ride sessions for key workers, including basic bike maintenance and set up.

Due to Coronavirus the weekly Bring Your Own Bike DIY maintenance sessions are not running, but Ride On’s Fix it at Home initiative consists of some useful and informative videos, especially for gear indexing and brake adjustment issues. See the website for details www.rideoncycling.org

Find us on Facebook

Twitter @RideOnExeter

Instagram @RideOnExeter

Registered charity: 1174055

South West Water Community Fund Project

South West Water is committed to supporting charitable causes in the region and has strong links with charity partners and contracts with many charities to deliver community projects.

For full details go to:

https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/community/support/

Ends

Cartridges Law – Congratulations on your new bike!

Congratulations on supporting Ride On! You have made the first step towards a healthier lifestyle and a cleaner Exeter.

To make the most of your cycling, you should know the risks, your responsibilities and what to do in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. We’re a local law firm, experienced at helping cyclists – several of us are Ride On customers as well!

Bicycles are far safer for pedestrians and other road users than most other vehicles, but not risk-free. We have helped many people injured in collisions. We would encourage you to make sure that you are covered by insurance and to use lights when riding at night. Should you need it, we have put togethers some tips that might be useful if you are involved in a collision.

  1. If you are ever in a collision and people are hurt, think about the following things:
  2. Don’t make the situation worse. Don’t stand in the road, and make sure casualties are as safe and comfortable as possible.
  3. If there is any risk that people have injured their head, neck or back they should not be moved. Instead keep them visible, warm and as safe as you can.
  4. Call the police.
  5. If other road users are involved, get their details; name, address, phone number, registration and insurance details.
  6. Take pictures of the collision scene, any defect in the road or path, and it’s a useful way of recording any other vehicles involved.
  7. Make sure you have the details of anyone that witnessed the collision.
  8. If anyone is injured, then they may be entitled to compensation. They should talk to a specialist solicitor (yes, like us!) who will normally be able to deal with their case on a “No win, No fee” basis. Remember, you have three years to make a claim but the sooner you start it the better.

You have done the right thing by supporting sustainable and ethical cycling in Exeter. It is very safe, very rewarding and I wish you many years of happy exploring.

Chris Tagg, Solicitor and Head of Civil Litigation

Cartridges Law, 46-47 Cowick Street, St Thomas, Exeter, EX4 1AP, [email protected] / 01392 256854

Celebrating the value of volunteers

As a small charity with a vision for a cleaner, healthier, and more active Exeter, volunteers are key to Ride On’s success. 

People volunteer as bicycle mechanics, bike foragers to find bikes we can fix up and sell, rickshaw pilots to take elderly people out on rides and fund-raisers to help organise more social and fund-raising events.

Gaining practical and transferable skills, as well as work experience can prove invaluable in finding a job. Lending a hand and developing your existing skills and knowledge is incredibly rewarding and great fun!

To give you a taste of what volunteering at Ride On is really like we put the questions to volunteer, Anna Ross who is gaining lots of new skills.

What does your volunteering involve?

I’ve been working on bike mechanics and maintenance in the workshop.   I help to strip down donated bikes, some of which can be in very unloved states! We clean them up and work out how to refurbish them so they can be passed on, matched with new customers, and loved again.

I have also been writing a volunteer handbook for new volunteers and helping produce a volunteer development programme. 

What do you enjoy about volunteering at Ride On?

 I really enjoy seeing our bikes go to new homes and helping people find the right bike for their needs. I love the variety of everything you can get stuck into at Ride On, and the encouragement I’ve received to give things a go and get involved. 

I feel valued and confident that I can make a difference about something I am passionate about. At the start I simply liked the idea of learning a new skill with bike maintenance which I could use on my own bikes but having quickly got involved in so many other areas I am so excited to be able to promote Ride On further within Exeter and hopefully start new initiatives. 

What are your hopes for the future of Ride On?

​I’m excited to be able to pass on what I’ve learnt at Ride On to others, especially the chance to get more women, and anyone who doesn’t feel confident in a workshop or using tools, involved in bike mechanics. 

My goal now is to set up women’s bike maintenance sessions along with some other volunteers, to get more women into the workshop and empowered to learn these skills and fix their own bikes. 

We’d also like to promote Ride On as a cycling hub within Exeter, where anyone is welcome, whatever their cycling ability or background. I want to help spread the word about everything that goes on at Ride On, especially when we are back up and running fully. And ultimately get more people onto bikes and cycling regularly, not just in Exeter but around Devon. 

If you’re interested in volunteering at Ride On email [email protected] telling us the kind of volunteering you are interested in doing. We will then take it from there!

We love volunteers, so there are lots of opportunities to volunteer! You can give as much or as little time as you can spare.

Notes for Editors

Ride On – Cycling for All

Ride On is Exeter’s hub for all things bike related. If you need a bike call us on 07544 14749 to make an appointment and come and look at our refurbished bikes for sale.

We also provide bicycle maintenance courses and Ready to Ride sessions for key workers, including basic bike maintenance and set up. 

Due to Coronavirus the weekly Bring Your Own Bike DIY maintenance sessions are not running, but Ride On’s Fix it at Home initiative consists of some useful and informative videos, especially for gear indexing and brake adjustment issues. See the website for details www.rideoncycling.org 

Find us on Facebook

Twitter @RideOnExeter

Instagram @RideOnExeter

Registered charity: 1174055

Ends

Women’s workshop sessions

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 we have some very exciting news to share! We will soon be setting up dedicated sessions for women in Exeter to come into the Ride On workshop and learn bike maintenance skills. All experience levels are welcome and the aim of these Women’s Workshop sessions is on friendly encouragement to do something new and meet like minded people. There will be no judgement, no pressure and plenty of tea and cake! 

Who are these sessions for?

We want these sessions to be as inclusive as possible whilst providing a needed place for underrepresented groups of people in bicycle mechanics to come and have a go. They are aimed at anybody who identifies as a woman, or has a non-binary gender identity. This could mean transgender any of the many other various identities which are not ‘male’ or ‘female’ in the traditional sense. We want to be absolutely clear that we include women of colour, trans women, non-binary people and any other women who may feel discriminated against in some areas of feminism. We want to create an inclusive space, full of enthusiasm and friendly encouragement for trying something new. 

Why have sessions aimed just for women?

Growing up, women aren’t typically encouraged to fix bikes or given access to knowledge about mechanics in general. As a result, women can feel like they can’t fix things for themselves, or think it’s a man’s domain. All this can also be true for people with gender-variant identities. When the majority of mechanics are men, it can be hard to step outside of the comfort zone and into their shoes to give it a go. We want to create a women-led space where you are empowered to learn about your bike, share what you know (or just get on with it yourself!), all without the pressure and machismo that sometimes exists in male populated spaces. We hope to encourage more women out on their bikes regularly, and for their bikes to be in better condition and nicer to ride, to build towards Ride On’s aim of a healthier, greener Exeter. 

We also want this to be a community and social space, where women can come together to do something they may have never done before in a space free of judgement and pressure. Women and men learn differently, so being women-led and for women specifically, we aim to address this so that the workshops are valuable and specific to those who come along. Whether it is to learn a new skill or have a space to do a skill they are already passionate about but might feel like they don’t have an outlet for at present. 

What can I expect?

We will finalise the date and time of the first session over the next few weeks. Sessions will be around 2 hours long and include a mix of a structured, mechanic-led lesson about a certain skill and some free time to use what you learn on your own bike, or address any other issues you might want to learn. Participants are encouraged to bring their own bike along to the session to work on, but don’t worry if you don’t have a bike yet or are looking for a new one, as we have a good selection at Ride On that can also be used. It is good to get to know your own bike first so whatever you learn is specific to that bike. We have all tools required available for use in the Ride On workshop, and parts are available to purchase as required. 

Places will be strictly limited at first due to distancing restrictions, but we hope these will ease over the summer so we can gradually open up more places. Keep an eye on our social media channels for further updates on the Women’s Workshop and how you can get involved. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Women’s Workshop then you can email [email protected] for more information. 

How you can help Ride On get more kids on bikes

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Looking for a second-hand bike for yourself or a child? Yes, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are convenient and cheap, but think about the advantages of buying a bike that has been maintained and serviced by experienced, qualified mechanics and volunteers.

At Ride On Cycling for All we ensure our bikes meet high safety standards. They are sold with a two-month warranty and our team can provide you with impartial advice on which bike would best suit your needs. Plus, Ride On bikes are affordable with adult bike prices starting at just £85 and children’s at £30 – £70.

Our mechanics and volunteers have been working hard during lockdown and, as a result, we have the biggest selection of refurbished bikes to choose from in years. If you need a bike for transport, fitness, or fun you can book an appointment to view our stock. We are now even open on Sundays for bike sales. https://www.rideoncycling.org/coronavirus-closure/buy-a-kids-bike-appointments/

Free Bicycle Scheme

By supporting Ride On you help us support those who can’t afford a bike. Through our free bicycle scheme, two bikes are given away each month to a deserving recipient nominated by a local charity or educational establishment.

We recently gave a bike away through a local primary school. The headteacher said “I gave the bike away this morning to the boy with his Mum. She could not stop crying she was so happy! He barely spoke a word he was so shocked and I am still not sure he believes it. His Mum said she could not believe that someone could do something so kind for someone they had never even met. She said it has been a really hard year for them and that this bike would mean he can go out with his Dad and enjoy spending some time together, which they would both love.”

Ride On have also given bikes away to people nominated by Social Services, Exeter YMCA, Exeter City Community Trust and Westbank.

Donate a bike

If you’ve used lockdown to declutter your garage or shed, you have children who have outgrown their bikes, or you’ve bought an electric bike and don’t want the hassle of taking your old bike to the tip or advertising it for sale on Gumtree or Facebook, contact us.  Please don’t take your unwanted bicycles to the tip. Drop them at our workshop in Exeter, so our team of mechanics and volunteers can bring them back to life. We’ve put over 3,700 bicycles back into use since 2011!

Please email [email protected] to let us know when to expect you. Come down to 61 Haven Road, Exeter, EX2 8DP. Call us on 07544 14749 to make an appointment or arrange to drop bikes off at one of our drop-off points.

Notes for Editors

Ride On – Cycling for All

Ride On is Exeter’s hub for all things bike related. If you need a bike call us on 07544 14749 to make an appointment and come and look at our refurbished bikes for sale.

We also provide bicycle maintenance courses and Ready to Ride sessions for key workers, including basic bike maintenance and set up.

Due to Coronavirus the weekly Bring Your Own Bike DIY maintenance sessions are not running, but Ride On’s Fix it at Home initiative consists of some useful and informative videos, especially for gear indexing and brake adjustment issues. See the website for details www.rideoncycling.org

Find us on Facebook

Twitter @RideOnExeter

Instagram @RideOnExeter

Registered charity: 1174055

Ends

Cycling Whatever The Weather

Inspired by cycling to and from school – come rain or shine – with his young granddaughter, Exeter businessman Mick Green has developed a new initiative to inspire others to join them.

The Cycling Whatever The Weather campaign has been backed by local cycling charity Ride On – Cycling for All and Exeter City Futures and sponsored by Exeter solicitors Cartridges Law.

Mick, who only took to the bike in the first lockdown in March, said he wanted people to consider cycling as an alternative to driving wherever possible. He added: “As a previously ‘diesel polluting school pick-up Grandad’ and a disabled 65-year old with a fat belly, I always picked my granddaughter up from school in my van. But a new drug controlled my condition and allowed me to get on a bike. My granddaughter is very keen on cycling which helped keep me in the saddle.”

Sharing the Ride On vision of a cleaner, healthier, and more active Exeter, Mick’s idea supports the Net Zero plan to make Exeter carbon neutral by 2030. He believes a cultural change is possible, where people of all ages think of cycling as the ‘norm’ and the first form of transport they consider. He likens it to learnt behaviour such as seeing litter pickers in action leading to other people ceasing to drop litter and starting to pick it up themselves.

The former Royal Marine, who now runs his own business Endorse HR, as well as being chairman of Exeter FSB, added: “Unless we can convince people to ‘cycle whatever the weather’ we are unlikely to make much headway with getting them out of their cars.

“Interestingly, all the evidence I’ve seen shows that it’s not the children who worry about the weather but the parents and carers.”

The average commuting distance in England is only four miles a day. Cycling this distance instead of driving would save 71kg of carbon – that’s equivalent to three trees!

Mick is now in the process of scoping the #CWTW project. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, organising events to support the campaign is an idea he has had to put on hold. Instead, he’s launching the #CWTW Challenge, where people sign up to take on the challenge and are presented with a duck bell handlebar bike light paid for by sponsors, Cartridges Law. Proudly sporting their handlebar duck bells they can ‘quack’ to spread the word and raise the campaign profile.

Nicky Mein, partner at Cartridges Law said: “We are proud to be supporting a great project like this. It fits perfectly with our ethos and values.”

Will Page, head of charity at Ride On, said they were delighted to support the campaign. He added: “We are impressed with the excellent campaign Mick is running. It ties in closely with Ride On’s values and vision. One of the great things about Exeter is how many inspiring voices we now have, proactively demonstrating the benefits of the lifestyle changes we want and need to see. The city is lucky to have someone like Mick Green!”

You can follow Mick Green on Twitter on @Mik1G, Cycle Whatever The Weather #CWTW.”

To join the campaign, or for more information, visit www.exetercityfutures.com/cwtw/

ENDS

JANUARY 2021

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Will Page at Ride On. – Cycling for All, [email protected]

Ride On – Cycling for All is a local charity based at Exeter Quay that recycles unwanted bicycles and helps make cycling safe, enjoyable, and accessible to everyone. Ride On has a vision for a cleaner healthier and more active Exeter.

The aim of Ride On is to get more people on affordable bikes, whilst offering education and training to keep them on the move, improve mental and physical health and wellbeing through cycling and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions.