Themes: Wellbeing, Traffic, Enjoyment, Mobility, Infrastructure
Nicola and Clive lived close to the centre of Reading. Nicola was a retired science teacher and Clive was a retired technical engineer. They both had adult children from previous marriages.
As a child, Nicola cycled a lot where she grew up in SW London. There was little traffic and she felt safe on the roads. However, once she left home, she did not have the opportunity to cycle again for the next fifteen years. Returning to live in the UK, and separated from her husband, she started using a bike for transport to work and for shopping. She did not own a car for two years. She discovered ‘Bicycle Beano’ cycling holidays in Wales and Shropshire, which she loved, and has continued to take for the last thirty years.
Clive grew up in Berkshire and cycled as a child but after leaving school he started using scooters and cars. When first married he lived in Wokingham, and felt proud to be the only person, locally, who cycled to work. He found it quicker and cheaper than driving. However, his cycling stopped after moving to Windsor, working shifts at Heathrow and spending many years caring for his first wife. He re-engaged with cycling from 2003, after meeting Nicola, and went to a lot of effort to buy himself a comfortable bike for the long, hilly rides in Wales.
Before the trial, Clive and Nicola were cycling most weeks for leisure, when the weather was fine, but without consistency or a regular pattern. They both have hybrid bikes and folding Bromptons, which they have taken on trains for cycling in Yorkshire and France. Nicola felt she wasn’t able to do enough local cycling, because of anxiety about safety on the roads. She tended to walk, drive or use the bus.
In this film, Nicola and Clive talk about their reasons for getting involved in the wellbeing trial, and contrast their experience of cycling in central Reading with more rural areas. Clive recounts how cycling, even in the rain, stops him being a ‘grumpy old man’. Nicola also emphasises the feel good factor she gets from cycling and reflects on how this could be increased in Reading, wanting an experience more like her leisure rides and informed by her cycling in Holland and Sweden.View all videos