You may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet lately here on London Cyclist. There is a reason for that: I am hanging up my blogging shoes for the time being. London Cyclist shall of course continue, but I personally am moving on.
To what I hear you cry?! Well, I will continue to work with bikes and in cycling, but I am shifting my focus to trying to use bikes to make lives better. I am working at Bikeworks in Bethnal Green.
I have greatly enjoyed my time writing for all of you, but it is time for me to move on and explore new things.
Bikeworks is a social enterprise that I have been involved with for well over a year now. When I started working on this blog I felt the need to be more involved with cycling and helping people enjoy cycling. I came across Bikeworks in the course of my blog related travels and read about their inclusive, All Ability cycling clubs which needed volunteers.
The clubs run in parks and are set up to allow people of any ability, or previous cycling experience, to ride a bike. There are lots of types of bikes available, including tricycles, recumbents and other adapted bikes. As a volunteer at the clubs I helped get people fitted to bikes, go out on rides with them and do other safety checks. It was really great fun but it was also obvious how much of a difference the clubs made to people’s lives.
All Ability is not the only thing Bikeworks does. The general mission is to improve the lives of other through bicycles. They have been at that for 10 years now and have developed many great programs and activities, including:
- providing adult and child cycle training for several London boroughs
- a great employability program: getting people back into work by training them as bike mechanics
- have a retail shop and reuse centre which refurbishes bikes
- offering team building sessions
When I initially started volunteering I did so to help others get into cycling; people who were not looking for a nice jacket for their commute but rather people who would not normally be able to get on a bike and ride. Working for Bikeworks full time allows me to be even more involved in all the great work they do.
I have had many great moments working on this blog for the last 15 months. I have reviewed some great products and written about some pretty interesting things. I’ve also met some wonderful people. I thought it would be a nice trip down memory lane to round up a few of my favourites. This is by no means an exclusive list as I have enjoyed pretty much everything I have done for London Cyclist.
Products wise, a couple of the things I have been enjoying the most and am most impressed by are:
- The Arcteryx A2B commuter jacket – I wear this at least once a week and its great on and off the bike. I feel like I look good when I wear it, which is important for a performance jacket that you wear in the city.
- The Genesis Flyer – I love this bike and ride it nearly every day. It has recently evolved a little and grown straight riser bars rather than drop bars, but this is my main commuting bike and is still a joy to ride.
Experience and people wise, some of my favourites have been:
- Having a guided tour of the Cycle Revolution exhibition at the Design museum
- Chatting with Nick Hussey from Vulpine and the ladies at The Cycling Store and Good Ordering
- Getting to test ride bikes for my job, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Over and Out
All that is left is for me to say thanks to you all for being great readers and appreciating my ramblings. I also need to thank Andreas for giving me the great opportunity to write for you all. I may be back from time to time reviewing products, but for now its over and out.
What’s next from London Cyclist?
From Andreas: We’ll be running our newsletter as usual, but the blog will be a little more quiet for the foreseeable future. With work commitments elsewhere, I’ve had to take a step back from London Cyclist. Hiring Emily and training her to take over the blog was perfect – she really took to the role and things have been running smoothly. I’d favour that approach again, so perhaps in the second half of 2017 we can welcome someone new in to the role. I hope you’ll join me in wishing Emily all the best!