I’ve lived in Winchester for 22 years but I am Dutch so grew up with a network of cycle paths that made cycling smooth and easy – the natural way to get around!
Winchester is a very different experience so unfortunately you often have to be a bit brave.
My current bike is a British-made cargo bike. When my three sons were younger they used to travel in the carrier every day on the school run … and then on to clubs and activities.
I remember, when my youngest was only a day old his brothers wanted to show him off to friends at school. Just out of hospital I wrapped him up, put him in the front carrier and pedalled into St Bede’s!
A typical family outing would be cycling down to the Cathedral grounds for a picnic or off somewhere for a swim. The boys still all cycle a lot; my middle son is particularly keen. My husband used to go on big bike rides as a bit of a hobby but now mainly uses a bike just to get around.
We live in Abbot’s Barton so allowing two-way cycling on some of the north-south streets in the city would make a big difference for me getting into the High Street.
The worst place locally on a bike is beside the old police station on North Walls when cars try to exit left towards Winnall and cross my path. I’m also often turning right from Andover Road into Bereweeke Road. Even though signalling right and positioned in the middle of the road cars still pass me on the outside.
I am a live-event artist – doing rapid artwork at special occasions – so spend a lot of time attending smart ‘dos’. Whether I need to be at the Guildhall or Winchester Station for London, I usually cycle. I’ll wear anything on a bike including cocktail dress and high heels! And you don’t have to be fit either.
My father is asthmatic and had never really cycled until recently acquiring an electric bike. Now he cycles every day.
The best thing about cycling in Winchester is that it is easy and practical. But it gives me a lot of pleasure too and makes sense environmentally.
[Our thanks to Lucy for leading off our new series, profiling people who cycle in the city. Lucy sent us a selection of her lovely artworks, many of which feature bikes. Please take a look at her work on Instagram @liveeventartist and Facebook @liveeventart.]