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New cycling initiative set up to get Winchester pedaling
A WINCHESTER primary school teacher is giving up her day job and helping people to get on their bikes.
Heather Evans has set up Bespoke Biking, a social enterprise that helps people enjoy cycling.
Celebrating a year in business, Mrs Evans’s not-for-profit organisation has seen men, women and children of all ages come together and cycle, some of them for the first time.
Inspired by her 12-year-old son Isaac, after he passed his cycling proficiency test, Heather decided to train as a Bikeability instructor.
She now offers weekly sessions with coffee stops, come rain or shine, visiting various locations across Winchester and soon found herself becoming so busy she was forced to take on extra help.
Mrs Evans, from Hyde, said: “It’s really exciting. If I get over-subscribed I have got other people who can take the lead. I wanted to reach out to women who aren’t very confident and it’s just grown.”
One such woman and her husband took up cycling to help their nine-year-old disabled daughter get more exercise. Jane Nandy, her husband Sudip bought a tag-along bike for Ani and trained with Heather regularly.
Jane said: “I hadn’t been on a bike since the age of 11 and now you can’t stop me, even in this beautiful weather! I even take it on the train to Southampton.”
Kirsten Salter, a scientist at Southampton University, said: “My husband is a keen cyclist so I started riding. I’ve never done it for sport before but this is a great way to socialise.”
Mrs Evans is currently in discussions with Kings’ School about adding cycling to the P.E. curriculum and has said her passion for the sport has gone from strength to strength.
“I want to communicate that cycling is not an expensive activity just for lycra-clad athletes,” she said. “We want to encourage people to have a go at this great sport that helps fitness, helps us look after our world, is fun and accessible to everybody.”
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