Study area: Reading
Cycling history: Diminished
Themes: Exercise, Enjoyment, Weight, Wellbeing, Infrastructure, Traffic
Jo lived on her own on the outskirts of Reading, where she has lived for 35 years. She worked as a Registrar in the centre of Reading. Jo often visited her daughters and sister who live locally and also played guitar and went on walks with friends. She was given a bike by her daughters and their partners two years ago to encourage her to cycle, but has not used it much.
As a child growing up in Scotland she cycled around the village with her sisters and friends but didn’t cycle to school as it was too far, so she would get the bus. Moving to Edinburgh she didn’t cycle due to traffic and noticed there wasn’t as many people cycling in the city. Re-locating to Reading in 1980 she cycled a lot locally when her children were younger using a child seat. However, she started to feel unsafe and reduced her cycling in the mid-80s, although Jo taught her children to cycle and rode with them away from roads.
In this film Jo explains that the main attraction of taking part in the trial was that she could perform physical activity on her own to feel better. She describes how she took to riding the E-bike quickly and the many benefits it provided including losing weight, sleeping better, improving her balance, enjoying exercise, helping her switch off and feeling more relaxed. Negative aspects for Jo were the dangers of traffic and poor maintenance of cycle tracks but these didn’t stop her buying her own E-bike at the end of the trial. She explains the rationale for her choice and goes on to extol the virtues of E-biking for older people.