Join Knowsley’s cycling heroes

Published on: Thursday, 10-September-2015

People cycle for all kinds of reasons - some because it’s the best way to get from A to B, some to challenge themselves, keep fit, raise money for charity or just have fun.

Four people in Knowsley share their experiences of why they got on their bike.

Jaci Dick, an Employee Services Manager for Knowsley Council, was one of 38 cyclists who has recently completed the London to Paris ride.  She completed the 310 cycle challenge over three and half days and has so far raised £845 for Kidneys for Life. 

Jaci said “In a moment of madness I found myself signing up to raise money for Kidneys for Life.  The furthest I had ever cycled was 20 miles on a hybrid bike so the thought of cycling 100 miles every day for 3½ days was daunting.   Earlier this year, I purchased a road bike through the cycle to work scheme and started to train with other novices. I have discovered parts of Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales which I never knew existed!  In July I completed my first 100 mile organised event and despite the awful weather conditions and challenging route, I completed it in just over 8 hours.  I love spending so much time outdoors in the beautiful English countryside and have made lots of new friends - the significant improvement in my level of fitness is just a bonus!  London to Paris – bring it on!”

Linda Williams and Rose McCarthy work as cleaners at several council sites in Kirkby and cover a lot of ground in a day, so they find cycling is perfect for the many short trips they need to make.

Linda and Rose feel that cycling helps keep them healthy, and have noticed that the exercise lifts their mood too.  Both of them have lost weight through cycling - Linda has noticed that her legs feel stronger than before, and Rose says that cycling helped her get over a problem with her back.

In 2012 Pete Leadbeater, of PSL Scooters, weighed in at 15½ stone, ate 'all the wrong food,' was a drinker and a smoker.  He decided change was in order and whilst he had lost half a stone, a health scare made him realise that he needed to do more.  As well as diet changes, Peter was referred free to a Knowsley Activity for Life programme.  Whilst the gym wasn’t for him, running and cycling were and he is now a member of Knowsley Harriers running club and Liverpool Century Cycling Club.  He has since competed in triathlons, the Manchester Marathon, cross country running and cyclocross racing.  He has also raised thousands of pounds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Pete, who now weighs under 12 stone, says that for him the keys to success were the support of friends and family - his partner joined in the diet and lifestyle changes - and having realistic goals to aim for.  Pete said “I feel great, I just wish I’d started all this sooner.  I always get a good night's sleep too!”

Whatever your reason to get on your bike, Knowsley offers a range of great cycling routes for all ages and abilities.  Find out more at www.knowsley.gov.uk (search for Knowsley Cycling).