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Carol Pickup, one of the ladies who attended the sessions provided us with some fantastic feedback surrounding the sessions she had attended.

Your Trust have worked in partnership with Living Well, TfGM, Cycling UK, Hopwood Hall College and NCA to deliver 12 sessions of adult cycling training as part of the Local Pilot project.

The sessions took place at Hopwood Hall College (Rochdale Campus) over the period of six Sundays in October and November. The sessions have been extremely popular and successful with over 40 ladies taking part in ladies only sessions.

What we did

Carol grew up as part of a large family, and they never had the spare money for bikes. As a result, she never learned to ride a bike. As an adult, Carol was an active hill walker, participating in a walking group as well as enjoying her own walks. She found that this was great for her mental health, providing a space to unwind and clear her mind out in the fresh air.

Unfortunately Carol recently developed osteoarthritis, and walking downhill became so painful that it took her a week and a half to recover from the pain each walk caused, and so this activity had to stop. Unable to spend time out on the moors, her mental health suffered. Carol saw a post on Facebook advertising our ladies-only ‘Learn to Cycle’ sessions at Hopwood Hall car park in Rochdale Town Centre, and contacted us to book her space

The difference it has made

Carol attended four ‘Learn to Cycle’ sessions, and at 61 years old she learned to ride a bike for the first time. She attended sessions with other ladies, most of whom had also never ridden a bike before, and so she had a safe space to develop skills and confidence in this new activity. She also found that she was able to participate without the same pain that walking was causing, and that being on the bike gave her that same feeling of freedom and that same head-space that she missed from her walks.


Carol has now purchased her own bike, and she is keen to get cycling more regularly. We are going to offer some additional sessions for her, so that she can practice changing gears and build confidence to ride safely on the road, which should leave Carol with the freedom to cycle independently wherever and whenever she chooses.

What Carol has said about the sessions

“I went along to the cycling event with some trepidation as I had never ridden a bike before. From the first moment I went to Hopwood Hall car park I was made to feel really welcome and there was a lovely group of ladies present. The instructors were fabulous and within the hour I was cycling! Oh the freedom! I never thought I would find anything to replace my beloved hill walking but I think I may just have found it.

I would like to urge anyone thinking of giving it a go to just do it! I have purchased my own bike now and have been out and about. lt has given me a new lease of life. I would like to say thank you to all involved, all those who gave up their free time and the office based staff who manage the scheme. lt is a truly a worthwhile scheme and it has changed life for me. Thank You”