What is Cycle to Health?

The Cycle to Health project aims to increase men and women’s mental and physical well-being through supportive, regular group bike rides and welcomes riders of all abilities. We can lend you a bike for the ride if you don’t have your own.

The project starts with a 1:1 meeting with one of our small team who will introduce the project, answer any of your questions and concerns and discuss whether the project is right for you.

The next step, most likely, involves four weekly ‘Road Skills Sessions’ in a small supportive group with people of similar abilities. We’ll focus on group communication while out riding, safety issues when in traffic and basic cycling skills. The group will normally consist of four participants. Sessions happen on a Monday afternoon or Tuesday afternoon, depending on the participants’ availability.

Following the initial rides, there is the opportunity to become part of the group with regular Monday morning, Tuesday evening and Saturday morning rides. We often bring coffee & tea and biscuits with us and on Tuesdays we first have soup & bread (free of cost) in the cafe together. We have traffic-free rides which are alongside the canal, and we do road rides, taking us through and outside of Inverness, such as to Dores and Redcastle.

Who is the Cycle to Health programme suitable for?

The project is designed and funded for people living in the Highlands, aged 18 years and over, who are experiencing any of the following:

  • Low self-esteem

  • Feelings of isolation

  • Lacking in confidence or motivation

  • Low mood or anxiety

Why is cycling good for my wellbeing?

Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise because it doesn't overstress your body. It is a sociable activity and a great way to meet new people. It can be fun and give you a real sense of freedom, away from everyday pressures. Cycling can improve your physical fitness and help you lose weight. The sense of achievement gained from engaging in cycling can help boost confidence and self esteem. Cyclists on average have the health of someone ten years younger.

Who runs the project?

Velocity's Cycle to Health team consists of two female project workers and a female co-ordinator, who are qualified trainers and cycle leaders and are experienced in group work.

Do I need to be an experienced cyclist?

The project is not about becoming a bike racer. If you’ve not ridden for years and years we can help. If you need a bit of a boost to get back on your bike we can help with that too. Whatever level you are at, the aim is to give you the skills and confidence to get out, ride safely and feel better.

What do I need ?

We can provide a bike, bike helmet and waterproofs, if required. You will need to wear trainers, comfortable clothes and bring a water bottle and snack.

How much does it cost?

This project is fully funded so won't cost you anything.

How fit do I need to be?

You don't need to be fit to join this project, just a willingness to ride a bike.

What about safety?

We ride in small groups, with qualified leaders, on risk assessed routes, in and around Inverness. Everyone is required to wear a helmet and high visibility clothing – which we can give you. During the one to one meeting we will discuss your confidence levels and make a plan to support your needs.

Can I bring my children/friend/dog?

The project is structured to help address the needs of small groups of people who have been referred or self referred to the project. To allow us to focus on individual and group needs, we would ask that alternative arrangements are made for children and dogs. If you have a friend who you may feel could benefit from this project, we would welcome a referral from you (but please check they are happy that you share their details with us first).

How do I get involved?

You can be referred by your GP, Community Mental Health Teams, Health Visitors, other agencies, friends or family or you can self refer. If you would like more information or would like to register your interest in the project please email:

cycletohealth@velocitylove.co.uk

Or call: 07957346317

Can I start straight away?

Once we have been notified of your interest, we will contact you to arrange a 1:1 meeting as soon as possible. Following the one to one, if it is agreed that the project is suitable, we will offer you a place in a group. This may happen quickly or there could be a slight wait.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 Thanks to Smarter Choices Smarter Places for making this project possible.

 


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