We talked to Camille, one of our Best Foot Forward stars about why she cycles to school. If you have children who go to the Gilberd and who would like to cycle, Camille is happy to give advice on her safe route and how to get started! Her route will be featured on the legacy map we will be developing.
When did you start cycling to school?
I had wanted to cycle to school before but mum wouldn’t let me, but at Easter this year, two of my friends who already cycle to school gave me a seaty and showed me the route they took. It was all off the road so I persuaded mum to let me try it and she lent me her bike!
Why did you want to cycle?
Before I was walking to school and this took about 45 minutes, or I would take the bus and that took ages. Walking always felt more tiring. Cycling is fun, I enjoy it and it makes me feel free. I have always enjoyed cycling with my dad so it made sense to cycle to school. I get more time at home as cycling is quicker it only takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Do you cycle by yourself?
At first I did but then I got invited to join a cycling group, there are 5 of us. I meet one friend in Hakewill Way, then another three friends in Brinkley Grove. There is a set time to meet up at each point. It is more fun cycling together and we all help each other out if there is a problem with our bikes.
Is it easy to park your bike at school?
Yes there is a massive bike shed, covered with about 10 rows, it is mostly full but I always find a space. There is a bike workshop at school and they can help if your chain comes off or something.
How do you deal with carrying books and other things you need for school?
I have a backpack which fits in all my books no problem. I use the basket on the front of my bike to put my blazer in when it’s hot and to put my lock and PE kit in.
Is it difficult wearing a skirt and cycling
Well I wear trousers to school, but my friends’ cycle in skirts with no problems, sometimes they put their pe shorts underneath until they get to school.
Are you planning to keep cycling during the winter?
Mum is worried but I want to give it a go! I need to get some lights and a cover for my seat in case it rains. I have seen some really blingy ones but would be worried someone would take it if I had a really nice one. I also would like my own bike!
Where else are you cycling?
As well as going out for cycle rides with my dad, I also cycle to my dance lessons up at Lorraine George school of dancing.
What would you say to other people who might be interested in cycling to The Gilberd?
Most of my friends walk to school and it would be great to convince them to cycle, as it is so much more quicker and enjoyable. My route from Mile End Road is a really good route and it is almost all along cycle paths. I go on the pavement for the very short stretch of road where there is no cycle path. I would be happy to show other children going to the Gilberd who live in/near Mile End Road the route I take.
Come and talk to me. I am in class 9XDEE x population.