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Blog: “Cycling gives me an opportunity to experience & see Liverpool"

In Liverpool, Get Out Get Active has teamed up with Peloton Liverpool to provide cycling opportunities to students. Over ten weeks Peloton Liverpool delivered a series of events at Greenbank Student Village. Here, we hear from Alex, a student, who has been involved in the project as both a participant and a volunteer.

Alex’s blog:

Hi, I’m Alex and I am currently at university in Liverpool. I have always been interested in being active. So, when I came across the Peloton Liverpool project it gave me the opportunity to be more active through cycling.

During Freshers’ week in 2018/19, Peloton Liverpool promoted a group bike ride from Carnatic Student Village. I decided to go and with the support of some Carnatic resident advisors I had my first taste of cycling on the road. Being with a group of people made me feel safe, especially cycling on the road for the first time.

During that time, I was introduced to Dan and John from the University bike kiosk. They provided me with more advice on cycling and in 2020/21, when I had more time, an opportunity to volunteer at Greenbank Bike Workshop. The Greenbank Workshop provided free rental bikes, free bike repairs and maintenance, and led group rides twice a day for the students at Greenbank.

Under John’s supervision I worked on bikes and helped new students repair and maintain their bikes. The maintenance lessons consisted of safety checks, back wheel removal and puncture repair.

Like me, many of the students hadn’t been on a bike since they were kids. I remember how scary the idea of riding on the road was. After safely dipping my toe in the water a few times, I soon got rid of that apprehension by cycling through some leafy parks, quiet residential roads and being part of a group. It was rewarding to see other students develop confidence on their bikes in a safe environment.

The thing I have enjoyed most about volunteering is helping others by using the skills I have gained and having the opportunity to gain more knowledge that isn’t specifically related to my studies.

Cycling gives me the opportunity to experience and see Liverpool in a different way. Being able to get out and be by myself gives me freedom and has positively impacted my mental health.

Going into my third year I won’t have as much free time to volunteer, but I am keen to be involved in some capacity, and I will continue to cycle and explore Liverpool on my bike.

I’m grateful I had the chance to be involved and have the opportunity to learn and develop my skills thanks to Get Out Get Active and Peloton Liverpool. I’d love to see more programmes like Get Out Get Active in local areas supporting disabled and non-disabled people be more active.

About Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here.