If you would like to join Wheels for Wellbeing’s ‘Zoom Social Chats’ on Mondays at 11am, please email emma@wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk

It’s great when people ask to join the Zoom Social Chat on Monday mornings, especially from people who have only recently found out about Wheels for Wellbeing. Last week, Wondwosen joined us to see what we as an organisation are all about. He’s a volunteer “Health Champion” at a medical centre in Deptford, and during the Social Chat we couldn’t help but think what a fantastic forward-thinking medical centre it is! Before lockdown they had a full activity calendar for the patients, with activities that included yoga, meditation, singing, walking and running. Now they want to add cycling to the mix, which we think is a great idea!

Social prescribing is something that occasionally crops up in conversation amongst Wheels for Wellbeing staff. We already distribute our leaflets to surgeries and give talks to hospital physiotherapy departments, but we’d very much like to be part of something more “formal”. Have you experienced social prescribing? How has it benefitted you? Is your GP surgery leading the way with programmes to keep people physically and mentally fit?

Cycling Sessions

As expected, we also discussed re-starting our cycling sessions. We delivered our first cycling session at Herne Hill Velodrome on Monday (6th July) with individuals who had responded to emails, newsletters, surveys etc about returning to cycling – not day centres, residential homes or groups for now. There were 6 riders per hour, and this included supporters; a total of 18 riders instead of our usual 60-90 at sessions!

We’ve had to drastically reduce the number of riders to meet UK Government and British Cycling guidelines, and we’re trying to work out how to be as fair as possible…we haven’t fully managed to work this out just yet, but please do let Emma know if you’re ready to cycle – her email address can be found at the very beginning of this blog post. (PLEASE NOTE: we are currently only able to offer our cycling sessions to people who have cycled with us before). July is going to be a trial, with the hope that by the end of the month lockdown will be eased further so that a few more people can cycle together.

Other Cycling Opportunities

As an alternative to our sessions, you could take part in our “Dare to Ride” project (see flyer below). If cycling to Dulwich Park or Ladywell Fields appeals to you, please do get in touch! These rides will likely be on a Tuesday or Friday morning.

For those of you who have your own cycles, our Herne Hill Session Manager can go on a bike ride with you. On Sunday she went for a 15-mile ride with Jodian, one of our volunteers. They cycled along routes on the London Cycle Network, including those around Jodian’s home that he never knew about before. Emma’s currently planning a 20-30 mile ride into the Surrey Hills with former session participant Grant, so if you’re interested in a ride like this then do get in touch!

Also, don’t forget that if you would like to own a cycle, take a look at Peddle My Wheels’ “Try Before You Bike” scheme. It’s available to people who live or work in various boroughs across London, with Lambeth, Ealing, Waltham Forest, Croydon and Southwark offering adapted cycles under the scheme too.

Our children’s cycling sessions are yet to restart, but we’re working on it and hope to get them back up and running soon!

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