An active leader since the programme launched in 2019, Declan shares his thoughts with us.
Location: Waterford Greenway.
What motivated you to become a leader?
I have always had a love of cycling and have never understood people that did not share that view. By leading AXA Community Bike Rides I hope to be able to help more people share that love and gain more from their bicycle. Remember a bike is for life, not just for Christmas!
Why should I join one of your bike rides?
All my bike rides have been on different sections of the Waterford Greenway, and the Greenway is the reason to join! The Waterford Greenway is the perfect place for people who are not comfortable cycling on a road to regain their confidence, in a safe, controlled environment. Our rides have ranged from 22km to over 100km, without a car in sight. During my cycles we often stop for a coffee break…sometimes end with a coffee stop…and we have even started with a coffee!
Why would you encourage other members to become leaders?
Ask yourself, why did you first join as a member? That is the same motivation you need to become a leader. The more leaders there are, the more members we can have, the more communities can have rides, encouraging more people to take up cycling! Who knows where it might lead for you?
What has been the highlight for you from your rides to date?
On one of our early rides, we had a couple from South America join us. Newly arrived in Waterford, using borrowed bikes, I was able to show them a part of the county they would never have found without AXA Community Bike Rides. The highlight for me personally was seeing, sometime later when they had visiting family, they brought them to that same part of the county.
What advice would you give a new leader?
Relax. Cycling in Ireland is a fun pastime, on a perfect piece of machinery, in a beautiful country, you just have to let the members see that for themselves. Start off with short distances, away from busy roads and long hills, at a time that suits you and you will soon have new members joining you!