Our stories: swapping car journeys for cycling
Many people across South Yorkshire are already enjoying cycling. There are plenty of stories to tell about cycling, from real people who love getting out on their bikes.
Ever stood at the bottom of a hill and wished you could magically zoom to the top? Sam’s bike has an electric motor, which means he can cycle uphill with ease, even going up very steep roads. His bike also has a box on the front, which means he is able to take his young children out with him, as well as being able to do the weekly shop by bike. These convenient and environmentally friendly trips mean that Sam’s carbon footprint is greatly reduced, and the journey to nursery with his kids is a lot more fun!
Physical activity is great for our wellbeing, and getting outdoors is great for the environment. After taking up swimming at Ponds Forge, healthcare worker Linda realised that cycling there and back was a quick and easy way to incorporate more exercise into her routine. By cycling through Kelham Island, which has accessible and pleasant cycle lanes, she was able to avoid getting stuck in traffic, saving her time and money.
Working towards personal goals can help to motivate you when cycling. Sara, a healthcare worker from Sheffield, started commuting to work by bike, which she found is just as quick as driving into the city centre from her home. To record her cycling achievements, Sara uses the website LovetoRide, which tracks miles cycled and counts the carbon emissions saved by cycling rather than driving. This helps her celebrate her positive climate impact.
While cycling is great for commuting and exercising, it can also be a fun, social activity for families and friends. Emily, a university worker, cycles with her children on a tandem bike around the local parks in Sheffield. She also enjoys cycling out to the beautiful woodlands and reservoirs in the Peak District, which is a fun and free activity to do with her children.
Watch the video below to learn more about Cycle Sheffield’s vision, and keep reading to learn about their future plans – and how you can get involved!
Future plans: Making cycling accessible for everyone
There is still a lot of work to be done to make cycling accessible to everyone. Cycle Sheffield want to push for individual and systemic change, and they need your help to do it.
Communicating the benefits of cycling to beginners – There can be different barriers to people starting cycling for the first time, and Cycle Sheffield want to work to dispel some of the fears around cycling. Whether it is through improving cycling confidence, teaching people the skills they need to fix their bike, or simply having an encouraging and friendly chat with someone, Cycle Sheffield want to empower everyone to cycle more.
Campaigning for policy change and lobbying our local politicians – The more public pressure we can put on our local councils and politicians, the more likely it is that they will enact policies that protect and celebrate cyclists. During the 2021 local council elections, Cycle Sheffield organised a Transport Question Time, where candidates were asked about active travel and the environment. When Sheffield City Council asks for public opinion on cycling routes or active travel neighbourhoods, Cycle Sheffield makes sure to get the word out so that our views and voices are heard.
How can you take action?
We can achieve more when we work together, and Cycle Sheffield are always looking for volunteers to help them on their mission. To find out more about their different volunteering roles, go to their website.