I have been a member of Joyriders for about a year now. It is the highlight of my week for so many reasons. I can cycle a bit faster, breathe more easily, feel more confident on the road, and see parts of my neighbourhood that I would never get to experience on foot or by car. I have also made new friends and we chat about all kinds of things from how to make the most nutritional overnight oats, to where to get the best panniers and backpacks.
I have become so comfortable again on a saddle that I have signed up for Ride London, the thirty-mile ride through London and Essex.
I think that the Pandemic really gave people a chance to get on a bike, some folks for the first time ever. The women in my group often felt shy about riding a bike or nervous on the road, until they found Joyriders. We have stewards and ride leaders who stop the traffic for us and keep us alert and safe during the rides.
My borough, Waltham Forest is often referred to as mini-Holland because of the amount of cycle lanes it has. It is a very great benefit to live or work here, but other parts of the city and the country are reaping the benefits to the environment and to health and well-being by improving the cycling infrastructure.
I also enjoy these rides because each one of them has a built-in stop to a café. We get to try the coffee and a well-deserved cake or cookie and rest, replenish, enjoy the views, and catch up with each other’s news.
The rides are free and there are lessons if you feel that you need a bit of training before getting back into the saddle. You can then start with short beginner rides before progressing to intermediate or challenge rides. If you don’t own a bike, you can borrow one for the duration of the ride.
The rides are normally about three hours long, including the stop at the café and take place in the mornings. If you decide that it is your thing then you can train to become a volunteer ride leader and give back to the community whilst getting all the perks of being outside, moving your body, and freeing your mind.