Case Study - February 2021

This case study has been kindly completed by Elspeth Gracey, who is one of our valued Community Green Team volunteers.

The following is a case study of one of our adult led cycle ride participants. The case study highlights the positive impact that cycling has had in their life.

General info

They never had a bike of their own as a child but could cycle “a teeny bit” and joined the led rides initially in Feb 2020. Other commitments however meant they weren’t available to become a regular participant until August 2020. They usually go with the Tuesday group and sometimes they go with the Saturday group too.

Cycling experience

Although they describe themselves as being somebody who could “go a bike” they had never had their own bike as a child and described “feeling very wobbly” when cycling. They described a lack of confidence and told me they were unable to do hand signals and had only ever cycled where it was very safe e.g. away from traffic in a park. They said they were “far from being a cyclist” and defined a cyclist as someone who is confident in traffic and able to cycle long distances. This is their ultimate goal.

Motivation for joining

They hoped to be able to improve their cycling skills, get out in a safe environment with others and become more confident at riding their bike. They hoped to use it more to get around. “Being more environmentally friendly” through using a bike was also important to them.

Best thing about being part of the led rides

Their immediate response was “I feel a lot more confident. I feel like it’s at a level I’ve never been at before”.

“Previously I always felt held back and couldn’t join in with team rides or with family and friends going cycling.”


“Previously if I went to ride with family or friends it could be a disaster, I was too slow, now I feel so much more capable.” 

“It gives me another avenue to get out and about during the pandemic”

“I can go for a ride with members of my family or a friend in a way I would never have done in the past”

“I’ve been to Clydebank and then Bowling and also to Glasgow Green and it was comfortable, I feel fitter and more able to do that.”

“I’m hoping to do short journeys to visit friends instead of walking which takes longer.”

“I have a job in Govan and previously would have used the bus or underground or even the car sometimes, once the office has reopened after the pandemic I will often choose to cycle when the weather is decent-ish and that is more environmentally friendly”.

“I can go for a ride with members of my family or a friend in a way I would never have done in the past”

Surprises about being involved

“The fact that I’ve enjoyed it so much. Initially I was very tense, so tense at gripping the handle bars that I would get sore shoulders but now I’m much more relaxed and look forward to it now. Even the cycle leaders have noticed the difference in me.”

“I’ve found new routes to places e.g. to Bellahouston Park now I know how to get there by bike, I never knew that way before.”

“I didn’t realise there were so many shared pavements where cyclists are allowed to ride. Before when I cycled - and its was always on a pavement which I know you shouldn’t do but it was the only option I felt comfortable with - I always felt guilty about being in amongst pedestrians from a safety point of view.”

“I’ve been surprised by the distances I can go and still be in a fit state afterwards.”

“It can be challenging especially if it’s raining but even then I look forward to it, once you get there you’re all in the same boat and all going to have fun together and you feel you have earned your hot chocolate afterwards. I would never choose to go out cycling on my own on a filthy wet day but because I’m booked in for a ride, I’ll go along.”

“About three quarters of us are in a WhatsApp group and keep in touch, so even if I’ve missed a ride people post pictures and it keeps me in touch. That can help to motivate me for the next time.”

“The WhatsApp group can give you more insight into a person, it’s another way of keeping in touch, and what they are interested in. Some people do craft work and put up pictures”

“I like being with the group and have met people through it. One person also has a dog and so we see each other when we are out with the dogs - well I wouldn’t have known them before even although they live near me.”

“I’ve lived in Scotstoun for 20 years and so has one of the ride leaders but I never knew them before and now they've become a friend.” 

Anything else

“I feel more positive about myself, I can do it and I’m getting better at it.”

“It’s a cheaper way to travel, it’s better for the environment.”

“Exercise is important to me and other options not available at the moment e.g. structured classes and it’s better for me because I previously had ankle trouble which prevented me from taking part in my step class but cycling is lower impact”.

“Because I’ve been part of these rides I’ve been able to advise others thinking about it and encourage them to join. I definitely feel more informed and will be much more comfortable about promoting cycling to others when work events resume.”

“Through the cycle leader I’ve been introduced to the Drumchapel Cycle Hub which has also helped to build my confidence.”

“My best memory of the WhatsApp group was after we all got soaked we all went home and chilled out - had hot showers, got into our jammies and watched telly with a hot drink. It was good to know we were all doing similar things together and everyone else on the group had a good laugh with us.”

“I’ve been surprised by the distances I can go and still be in a fit state afterwards.”

The adult led cycle rides are supported by Glasgow Community Cycling Network and Glasgow City Council and the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places fund and we are grateful for their support.

More info about the led rides

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