Librarian Chris tells her own cycling story
Chris, aged 61, has worked at Thornaby Central Library for over 40 years, and now tells her own story about her biking journey, including joining the cycling group, Thornaby Funriders Group.
I cycle for all sorts of reasons. When the weather is good I love to cycle to work, usually leaving earlier so I have time to go on a longer route to get a few more miles in!
I cycle with the Thornaby Funriders Group (TFG) for the social aspect. It is great spending time with others and I enjoy the variety of routes. I love it when we are able to have a coffee stop and a chat, though at the moment we still observe social distancing rules.
My overriding memory of the best-ever TFG ride was New Years Day 2020 when there were around 24 cyclists out. We didn't know it at the time but that would be the last big ride before lockdown was imposed, and I will treasure the memory of that day. The reaction of the public we encountered that day was amazing and everyone was so friendly to us.
Cycling during the first lockdown felt surreal as there was so little traffic on the roads. I feel that anyone who felt isolated during those strange days would benefit from getting out on a bike.
I still cycle now lockdown is easing and I fully intend to keep it up, weather permitting. I feel so alive during a ride and I sing along at the top of my voice so long as there aren't any people around!
I am not aware of any barriers I have had to overcome, apart from taking the initial step of joining TFG and turning up as a newbie. I was made so welcome from the very start. Our motto is that we never leave anyone behind, so whether you are new to cycling and only want to do a short ride to build up your stamina, or if you want a longer ride there are medium and long rides available.
To any woman who is thinking of taking up cycling, I would urge them to go for it. Whether you are a young woman or an older lady like myself, we have a wide range of ages in the group.
You will certainly find help, support, and a very warm welcome to TFG!