I started cycling in London in the 1990s and there were not many cyclists about, in fact, I was the ‘only cyclist at the office’ for several years! The decision to start cycling again happened suddenly when I had to move from central London and I did not want spend a fortune on a travel card. I can still remember my first journey with my new bike: from Mitcham to Bayswater. I cycled on the only roads I knew then, the main roads and I was in a state of total horror when I finally reached my destination. I saw only two other cyclists along my route on that first day and thought – am I completely mad? The following day I studied my A-Z to find smaller roads but a bit later a friend picked up a London Cycle Guide (cycle route maps developed by LCC and Transport for London) which was perfect for my route planning and also proof that there were other cyclists in this great city of ours!
I started volunteering at LCC in 2003 helping with the membership mailing evenings. It is always an evening of lively discussion and plenty of laughter around the big table! Now I also enjoy volunteering at various events (Tour de France, Freewheel, Cycle Show and Capital Woman last year) where you get to meet and chat to more cycling enthusiasts! I have also been helping at the Corporate Affiliate events in the evenings where we visit a workplace that is a corporate member of LCC and we tell their staff more about the organisation and there might be a raffle and quiz night for the staff as well.
Personally, I have a lot to thank LCC for. I doubt if I would have continued cycling in London if I did not meet other people who believed it could be done - and enjoyed it as well! I still commute to work every day of the working year, rain or shine, snow or hail - And simply love it! And of course at weekends there is the leisure cycling.
I believe LCC has a very important role to play: introducing newcomers to cycling and encouraging existing cyclists to keep on going, by campaigning for relevant issues, improving cycle parking and by providing information. I am proud to be part of the team in my spare time and would recommend volunteering to anyone as a great experience.