Passionate about the impact cycling has on health and well-being, Joan takes time out to talk about her experience of being a leader.
What motivated you to become a leader?
I enjoy being part of a team and becoming an AXA Community Bike Ride Leader means I am part of a great team who encourage people to keep fit and active by riding their bikes. Becoming a leader has given me the confidence to organise group cycles in my area and this is great for our mental health and wellbeing plus it is so much fun!
Why should I join one of your bike rides?
You should join one of my bike rides because you will always learn something new. You will meet like-minded people and you will enjoy the craic along the way! Every cycle is different, you will build up friendships, miles and I will take you down roads you may never have travelled before. I will encourage you to challenge yourself and become a confident cyclist. You will explore the countryside, increase your fitness and become proud of what you have achieved.
Why would you encourage other members to become leaders?
If you have time on your hands, enjoy cycling, meeting new people and enjoy a challenge then you should give it a go. You have nothing to lose and so much more to gain. Think of all the enjoyment this will give others when they begin to realise all the benefits cycling has to offer them.
What has been the highlight for you from your rides to date?
I have really enjoyed seeing people progressing into confident cyclists who enjoy and look forward to the next bike ride. I love to hear them say “I really enjoyed that and where are we going next time?” …as I then know I have done a good job!
What advice would you give a new leader?
Always remember how you felt when you first started off in a group ride. Build up their confidence slowly and don’t try to teach everything on your first bike ride. Remember, if they enjoy themselves they will be back!