Cycling Fever!

Blackfriars Bridge with Wheels for Wellbeing

As a newbie to cycling, I’m quite certain pedestrians were faster than me. But that was way back in May. Now, with a few months under my belt, and an Epileptic high-vis, I am limited by the scope of my imagination. And sometimes public transport. Read more on that here, as I took journalist Joshua Neicho on the tram, train and tube from Croydon to Brixton. Yes, with my unfolded tricycle.
Even the scary Elephant and Castle roundabout no longer fazes me. Well, now that I know to use the cycle lane, not the main road! But it definitely gave me the confidence to go further afield. To Southbank, Vauxhall and even Guy’s Hospital. Locking and unlocking the trike takes a whole 3-4 minutes each time, but I’ve become more relaxed and less frustrated with the process. And safety comes first.
My first long journey was from Herne Hill to Decathlon, Surrey Quays. This took an hour, rather than the 35 minutes Google predicted. Seriously Google? We aren’t all Paralympians. I took the main road route, via Camberwell, Peckham and Bermondsey. Even crossing very scary Old Kent Road. For the return, Google took me via the Surrey Canal cycle route, to a different part of Old Kent Road, to Queens Road Peckham, straight to Camberwell, then the back roads behind Sacred Heart high school to home, via Loughborough Junction. Learn from my mistakes. Download the Cycle Streets app. They took me through Burgess Park to and from Decathlon, and have more realistic estimates.
My poor sit bones, as this was prior to the gel cushion cycling shorts having been bought. I had a super hot bath, but my thigh still ended up cramping while I was asleep. Thankfully Josh (my son, not the journalist) came to my rescue and stretched it out. He literally stood at the foot of the bed, held my ankles and pulled. The magic was instant and I immediately fell back asleep.
I always arrive home smiling but exhausted. This helps me to sleep better, which is less likely to trigger seizures. The side roads still remain my favourites. Less pollution, more scenic, and definitely more my pace! But now I can tackle main roads, roundabouts and huge intersections. Even cycling in the rain is thoroughly enjoyable. Cleansing in more ways than one. Give me time, and I’ll be on cycling holidays.
If you’re a disabled cycling newbie, you’ve probably had horrid people yelling at you on the pavement, although you’re going at a snail’s pace and not blocking pedestrians. I definitely did, in my earlier days. Just remember you are perfectly permitted to use the pavement, if:
   1) you personally judge the road to be unsafe to use;
   2) you use it in a considerate manner;
   3) you are using your cycle as a mobility aid.
Special thanks to Katy from Wheels for Wellbeing, who gave me the above advice, when I had a bad experience in Clapham.
 
Do you also have cycling fever? Is cycling your main form of transport? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Cycling Fever!”

  1. The Cycle Streets app is great! Google take heed! Glad you’re gaining confidence on your trike and empowering you to be independent – discovering the hidden gems of London.

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