Bravery and triumph - getting the pedals on
Sometimes it's the funniest things that are most inspiring. I can't really imagine how difficult it must be, as an adult, to even admit that you can't ride a bike. Far less to actually go ahead and learn to. For starters, there's just so far to fall. On Sunday I met a mother of four who had taught her children how to cycle but said there had never been anyone to run along behind her, holding onto her saddle. A scottish cycling event I was helping at gave her that chance. I met another two women who hadn't cycled since their childhoods in Pakistan, where they rode round on the roofs of their houses. Being given the opportunity to ride a bike, albeit on a windy Sunday afternoon in Glasgow, transported them to an entirely different place in their lives and brought back so many memories. Sunday had a lot of smiling and a lot of support - both physical and emotional, from all the other women at the event. Even when the weather turned into something Armageddon-like, ripping the marquee from the ground and sending it on a rampage round the park, it didn't deter the learner cyclists. Within minutes, there was a woman back out there, pacing up and down the car park with a look of determination on her face. We'd taken the pedals off to help her find the balance point and when she got it, she knew. The pedals went back on and it wasn't long before she was pedalling round the park BY HERSELF with a massive grin from ear to ear. Everyone there felt like they'd achieved something. Coaches, organisers, friends, family and most importantly all the women who'd been brave enough to be learner cyclists. I'm feeling inspired, can you tell?