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What our attendees say

Confidence in cycling is becoming increasingly important to how we travel. Here are some of the past participants in our cycle confidence courses to tell you more about their experiences.


Yetunde-cycle-training

Yetunde's cycling story

If you’ve never been on a bike before or just need to build your confidence on two wheels, our cycle training instructors are on hand to help. After falling off her bike as a child, Yetunde was determined to use the summer to learn to ride.

I started to learn to cycle, as most people do, when I was a child.

One day, when I was still learning, I fell off. It really upset me but rather than continue I gave up.

I’d known about Transport for Greater Manchester’s sessions for a couple of years, and I finally plucked up the courage to take part.

I came to the first session and I wasn’t able to ride, but I thought: ‘if I don’t come again I’m going to forget it’.

I’ve now been every weekend through the summer because I’m so determined to learn.

Even though I picked up cycling quite quickly, I wasn’t confident enough to ride by myself. I’ve used these sessions to continue my learning and build my confidence.

The training has been great for me. I’m not a sporty person, or someone who picks things up quickly, so if I can do it, anyone can.


sarah cycle training

Sarah's cycling story

Having missed out on learning to ride as a child, Sarah from Leigh shares how cycling works for her, and how her local cycling group requirement of being able to mend your own puncture led to attending our basic maintenance course.

I bought a bike over 10 years ago but haven’t used it much at all. I didn’t have a bike as a child as my parents thought they were dangerous. As a result I’ve never tinkered with a bike or had much confidence at riding, especially on the roads. I’ve now returned to cycling after a lapse of a few years.

Having seen an article in a local newsletter about a local cycling club for lapsed cyclists, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get back in the saddle. One of the membership rules though was that I needed to know how to mend a puncture and I really did not have a clue. They had the TfGM link for bicycle maintenance on their website, so I followed this and booked myself on, then joined the club a week after the course even though it was the middle of winter.

I have to say that the basic bike maintenance course was excellent, the instructor was very knowledgeable, and it was great to take my own bike and get it road (or in my case, path) ready again. There were only a few of us on the course so the instructor could spend a lot of time with each of us. I have taken some of the tips away with me and now regularly clean my bike and chain and know how to protect it going forward, so I think it will last me for years to come.

I’ve been to places that I never would have without the bike. I plan to do the intermediate course once lockdown is eased.


cycle training 1

Neil's cycling story

Neil from Tameside tells us how attending our Intermediate bike maintenance course has led to greater confidence and longer rides.

Although I didn't turn to cycling for the love of it, riding my bike soon became a lovely way to explore the local areas - one thing lead to another and I was soon cycling from one side of the country to the other!

Finding myself far from home on certain occasions, I figured I should learn how to fix my bike in case of emergency, as well as look after it better at home, so I enrolled on the intermediate maintenance course - I couldn't believe how much I learnt.

The skills and knowledge shared with attendees was amazing - each of us had to do the same practical jobs the instructor had demonstrated, whether you had brought a mountain bike, hybrid or road bike.

Since completing the course I have had the confidence to do an emergency chain repair at the side of the road, change my cassette on the gears to make riding easier, and last week I put a brand new set of gears and brakes on my wife's bike as she was struggling to use the ones that came with her bike.

Taking part in the maintenance course was the best investment I have made on my cycling journey so far.


cycle-training

Lynda's cycling story

Cycling is for everyone, no matter your age and background. Lynda from Trafford tells us why she decided to get back on the saddle after 25 years.

Now the children are grown up, my husband and I have been looking for activities we can do together, and cycling is something we both enjoy.

I found out about the course after finding a flyer in the library. It said if you’ve ridden a bike and forgotten, or if you’re absolute beginner you can take part.

For 25 years I hadn’t been near a bike, so the session was perfect for me to regain my confidence and see if I could still do it.

I was a bit nervous at first, but it’s amazing how quickly you pick it back up. You don’t forget!

Now that I know I can cycle, my plan is to go to one of the road rider ready sessions. And I’m already thinking about going to buy myself a new bike.

I’d recommend the sessions to anyone. It’s very friendly and there’s no pressure because everyone is in the same boat.


joan

Joan's cycling story

Joan from Greenfield talks about her electric assisted bike, cycling beauty spots and how time spent with her instructor is improving her on-road confidence.

I’ve never really been a cyclist. I bought my e-bike about 5 years ago but only cycled around Rutland Water on it.

When I moved back to Saddleworth in 2016 I cycled around Dovestone Reservoir a few times but was far too afraid to venture out onto the roads.

I enjoy cycling, I do have a car but never use it for local trips - I walk everywhere but cycling is quicker, so when I heard about the one-to-one cycle training offered by Transport for Greater Manchester I jumped at the opportunity.

My main problem is confidence, oh and wobbly hand signals, something that I’ve been working on with my instructor. Over the sessions, we’ve looked at improving my signalling and positioning on the road, as well as just cycling along under her watchful eye, which gives me confidence.

We did a longer cycle yesterday in light rain and I was far more confident by the time I got back home than I was when I set out!

I'm thinking I'll start using my bike for shopping and also for visits to friends (and pubs) in surrounding villages. I’m lucky that my bike is a fold-up, so in theory, I could go further afield by putting my bike in the car.

I would definitely recommend the course. It's been a great boost to my confidence - my legs don't tremble with fear so much now!