Michelle, from Wolverhampton, starting using West Midlands Cycle Hire as part of a local social prescribing programme in her area.
When we first met she had recently broken her ankle and was desperate to start getting back outdoors and moving more, but her injury had been preventing her. She found that the physical injury had then started to impact upon her mental health; not being able to exercise and enjoy nature as she had before was starting to get her down.
Cycling is a good low-impact exercise, and it also helps you to get back to nature, explore your local environment more and just as importantly get some fresh air!
Michelle explained why she was interested in the cycle hire scheme: “Being able hire a bike from the end of my road and cycle down to the local park was just what I needed. Gradually I built up from short rides to the park; to riding to the park and cycling five or so laps before heading home!
“There is always a bike ready for me to use when I need it and I don’t need to worry about bike maintenance and storage either.
“I’ve been getting out regularly and it has most definitely helped my mental health. I feel happier and energised after a bike ride, it helps clear my mind and gives me focus. I’d really recommend it to anyone who is suffering with an injury like mine, or anyone who is struggling with their mental health at the moment.
“Now that electric bikes have been added to the fleet, I will definitely be trying those out too. I tried one out when they first launched and it felt very smooth, just like a helping hand which I imagine will be good when I’m cycling back home!”