Anita and Adam's amazing story
20 May 2022
Hanworth residents, Anita Pinnalawatta , and her 8 year old son, Adam, are incredibly thankful for Hounslow Council’s cycling initiatives.
Adam, a student at Oriel Academy West London, was able to learn how to confidently cycle due to having the amazing opportunity to experience Bikeability training sessions and other support programmes at his school, provided by the council. Bikeability training provides students a course ran by qualified cycling instructors to get them from being a complete beginner to cycling to achieving a Bikeability Level 2 standard. Becoming increasingly invested into cycling, Adam also had attended the council-run Learn-to-Ride cycle training sessions that were held at the Dan the Bike Man/JJ Ceylon Popup store within The Centre, Feltham. This, improving his cycling ability to an even greater extent.
Witnessing Adam becoming an avid cyclist, and with a few words of encouragement from others, Anita had eventually decided to embark on attending a weekly adult group cycle training session held at the Hanworth Cycling Hub, situated at Hanworth Park. These are held every Saturday and have allocated time slots for beginners and improvers, therefore Anita had felt comfortable attending the beginners time slot initially. Within 35 minutes during her first session, she was able to pedal, balance and cycle to a great standard. Ever since her first session 8 weeks ago, Anita has been going to the weekly session at Hanworth Park every Saturday. She is currently now on Bikeability level 2, and is now even cycling on the road, confidently giving road signals. Anita especially thanks cycling instructors, Nevin, Terry and Dafydd.
She has stated to the council's Transport Team that the weekly sessions, provided by the council, have “made a big difference to our lives”. She added "hopefully we can get more continuous cycling lanes so we can feel safer to ride as a family on the roads". Anita was initially thinking of getting a car, however due to the option of now being able to ride a bike, Claiming that “I have completely changed my mind about getting a car, I feel like I do not need a car”. Instead, she had bought herself a heritage hybrid bike she had put firstly assembled herself (talk about true determination!) . Owing to not being a qualified cycling mechanic, Anita had then went to a Dr Bike session in Hanworth Park, held on the last Saturday of every month. Here a qualified cycling mechanic from Bikeworks was able to provide the final touches to the assembly of her new bike.
Anita now cycles everyday with Adam for the school commute, then following this, heads from Hanworth to Hampton on her bike to get to work. Following a free 1-to-1 2 hour session with a cycling instructor, Anita hopes to achieve Bikeability Level 3 and aims to eventually be able to commute to Kingston on her bike. She is also hoping to perhaps borrow and try out an electric bike through the council’s Try Before You Bike scheme , which gives residents an opportunity to try out a new or nearly new bike for a month, for a small fee. There is a multitude of bikes to choose from, including kids, folding, and even cargo bikes.
Anita, and Adam at the Hanworth Cycle Hub open day, following completion of their Family Cycle Training session.
We wish Anita and Adam the very best success with improving their cycling abilities , and we cannot wait to see them at more council cycling events!
- For further information about all schemes mentioned, please go to: www.hounslow.gov.uk/CycleHounslow
- For further information about adult group cycling, Learn-to-Ride, and booking 1-to-1 cycle training sessions, please go to: https://www.bikeworks.org.uk/hounslow
- For enquiries about the Try Before You Bike scheme, please go to: https://www.peddlemywheels.com/try-before-you-bike
- To see the timing and locations of Dr Bike sessions, please go to: https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/info/20053/transport/1985/cycling_in_hounslow/2