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Get mobile…get cycling

The woman laughed. She didn’t mean to, but I was hilarious: wibbly-wobbling, shaking like a leaf, turning the handlebars left, then right, desperate not to fall over. The car park beside the bike shop was the first place I’d ridden a bicycle, not in gym, for 35 years.

That lady encouraged me in 2017… now cycling is part of my everyday life. It’s my transport and mobility aid, liberating and fun. I get a welcome dose of fresh air and exercise too.

It’s even been my work.

I’ve worked in the Darlington Walking and Cycling Hub, part of a network of five hubs in the Tees Valley run by Sustrans and funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority with funding from Active Travel England.

The team helps people gain confidence with walking or cycling as part of their journeys and provide information on local routes. They also have a fleet of excellent bikes available to borrow during their rides which can vary from two to 20 miles.

I struggle with my health at times and some days I need extra anti-fatigue meds and pain relievers for body pain and exhaustion. 

When I worked with the team I helped design a beginner/disabled-friendly ride, for folks who may be unsure of their capabilities. Darlington enjoys a wealth of parks and has lots of shared paths. South Park is a fabulous place to get (or re-gain) your bike skills. And there’s a café for a reward cuppa. 

My daughter struggles even more than me and had never ridden a bike: yet she learned how to ride age 28. She picked up cycling in no time and loves her bike. As I like to say, "I’m a Blue Badge biker…. I can’t always walk, but I can often roll".

Find out more about the Tees Valley Walking and Cycling Hubs, email [email protected] or check out Tees Valley Walking and Cycling Hubs on Facebook.

Walking and cycling more or taking the bus into town also helps to tackle climate change by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned and released into the air.

Check out for more information on air pollution including an online calculator to work out your home’s air pollution footprint and how you can reduce it.

Rose Drew from Sustrans with her bike






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