Principal Investigator, Oxford Brookes University
My introduction to self-propulsion began at age 2 on the back of a plastic oversize HP (brown) sauce bottle.
I graduated to my first ‘proper bike’ (Raleigh Budgie) around age 4. It wasn’t long after when the stabilizers came off and I was balancing on my own – I still remember the mixture of fear and exhilaration. In my primary years I remember proudly riding to school and around my local neighbourhood on my Piranha Sport BMX, probably like many other kids across the nation, pretending to be Eliot and friends in Spielberg’s 1982 cult film, E.T. – I usually watched in awe from the side-lines as older kids were able to do the jumps and stunts that I could only dream about. In my secondary years I got into road cycling. My school-friends and I would rush home from school, step into our cycle kit and then ride the lanes of the South Staffordshire countryside – I have particularly fond memories of riding (my Raleigh Team Cadet) out to tackle the ‘Col du Sheepwalks’ near Kinver Edge and then racing home before sunset. My cycling lapsed upon going to University partly owing to the fact that riding a bike was no longer de rigueur in my social circles. But in my 20s I rediscovered the bug of cycling courtesy of the new craze of mountain biking and would enjoying forays to the Welsh forests to tackle the singletrack.
My best memory of cycling is a five day mountain bike expedition across Wales with three friends travelling mostly off-road from Conwy to Cardiff when I was in mid-twenties – you can read a write up here! Experiencing cycling in Provence, France, and ascending the mighty Mont Ventoux (from Bedoin) will also live with me forever.
Throughout my life the bicycle has played an important role in enhancing my wellbeing. It has enabled me to get outdoors and experience new places whether alone in my own mind-space or through shared experience in the company of others. Importantly, cycling also enables me to move around in my everyday life and to connect with people and places. If I was honest, I would say I am well and truly ‘cycle dependent’. For me life without cycling in some shape or another would be unimaginable or at least a life less lived.
External Profile: http://planning.brookes.ac.uk/staff/timjones.html