Study area: Oxford
Cycling history: Diminished
Themes: Fitness, Mobility, Sociability, Topography, Exercise
Michael had retired in 1998 and had lived with his wife in a bungalow on a quiet cul-de-sac in East Oxford since 1988. Growing up in Ireland he had cycled very extensively with his friends, eventually selling his bike to cover his travel to a job in Southampton aged 19. He then moved to a series of workplaces around the UK, ending up in Oxford in 1955. Here he cycled to work at the Morris Motors Car Factory where he was a construction worker. Following this he travelled by car from Oxford to work all over the UK but cycled at the weekend whenever he could. His son and daughter had both learned to ride and he still cycled with his daughter. Michael got a new bike on retirement and used this for regular trips around the ring road for exercise. His wife had become ill in 2012 and he had been caring for her. This had meant that he had had a break from cycling for two years before recently starting to use his pedal cycle again for leisure and shopping rides. He had found this difficult due to traffic, hills, sore knees and his legs ‘giving out’.
In this film Michael describes how the E-bike was ‘the best thing since chewing gum’. It had encouraged him to ride more regularly with his daughter, enabled him to extend his cycling and to tackle significant hills in the city.