Cycling for mental and emotional health
After experiencing mental illness, which forced her to take a year off work, Jacqui was out with her family when they happened to come across a Dr Bike session at the Create Centre in Bristol.
She picked up a card advertising Bike Minded rides and got in touch. She started taking part in the group cycle rides in summer 2010 and it fuelled a real love of cycling.
Building self-esteem is often difficult for people with mental and emotional health issues. The project encourages social interaction and helps participants gain confidence.
Jacqui says that cycling calmed her busy mind and eventually led to her getting part-time work. She says "I had thought I would never work again." Life Cycle advertised a vacancy for a cycle instructor so Jacqui went for an interview and got the job. "I now work freelance for Life Cycle, teaching school groups and 1-1 sessions with adults. I have no doubt that the project has helped me return to work after over a year off. I now teach Bike Minded participants. It feels great that I can now support other people in the project.”
Providing support all the way… “One of the reasons holding me back from cycling was the fear of getting a puncture.” Jacqui learnt maintenance skills through Life Cycle, and it helped her confidence enormously. We can sometimes help participants to buy a refurbished bike at a low cost, and offer subsidised one-to-one cycling lessons and maintenance training.
Bike Minded is a project run in Bristol by Life Cycle UK