Moji Arogundade: cyclist and Local Hero

Moji and her daughter Holly
Moji and her daughter Holly

I started cycling when I was younger, how everybody does, as a child just riding my bike.  When I was older, I went on a cycling holiday to Cornwall with my then boyfriend. It was harder than we thought it was going to be, so we cheated and just did a fraction of what we originally intended, but it was still fun.

I wanted to ride too, so one week I took my bike

I didn't really do too much more until my children started riding. I took my son Jack along to Sutton Cycling Club which was just starting up. I used to drop him off and go and do the shopping. After a few weeks, I started to realise that I wanted to ride too, so one week, I took my bike and it went from there really.

As I got more and more involved and as the club grew, it became apparent that we needed to spread out activities that the children could do. Not all of them needed to learn to ride, and not all of them wanted to race, but what they did want to do was to ride.

A couple of the dads and I began the Touring Group. This is a group for those who want to ride mostly off road. It usually comprises a few adults and some of the stronger kids from the club who don't want to race and who can ride competently.

We ride on a Saturday morning and we roam through Surrey, sometimes its 20 miles, sometimes longer. Actually, that's one of the things that I really like about cycling; it's that freedom.

I like being able to get on my bike and cycle to somewhere really nice that feels like its miles from anywhere when in actual fact, it’s really close to London.  Because we ride on a Saturday, it's the day when most people are doing their shopping and we often go for miles without really seeing anybody – I love that.

Both my children still ride. Jack is now nearly eighteen and he rides with me sometimes or with his friends. My daughter Holly also comes along and she enjoys it too. 

I ride to work everyday. One thing that I would like to see is for all car drivers, before they are given a licence, to go out on the road and do a cycling proficiency type element to their driving test. Some of them come far too close and many have no idea of speeds involved, either downhill when they completely misjudge how quickly you’re going to get to them, or uphill, when they seem to have no comprehension that you’re actually going to slow down while you ride up it.

I've had cars right up behind me tooting at me but I can't go any faster. I go at a reasonable pace, so if they treat me like that, then no wonder less confident riders are intimidated into not riding on the road.

Moji was recently awarded a Local Hero award for services to cycling, in particular in the London Borough of Sutton.