Ride On Cycling for All has been awarded £4,000 from the South West Water Community Fund Project to provide free bike check sessions to NHS staff.

A total of 198 staff at community hospitals in Crediton, Tiverton, Honiton, Exmouth, Dawlish, Teignmouth, and Newton Abbot will benefit from 18 free ‘Dr Bike’ events between June and October.

Dr Bike sessions consist of 30-minute slots in which mechanics carry out a 20-point safety check, making minor adjustments to improve the smooth running of bicycles. Ride On does not do commercial servicing, so if further work is required we will refer them to a bike shop in their local area.

“We focused on NHS staff at the RD&E in Exeter last year, with our free Dr Bike checks” explained Will Page, Ride On Head of Charity. “We were really keen to start supporting NHS staff across the wider region, particularly those at community hospitals which are really valued by local people. We’re incredibly grateful to South West Water for funding this project.”

In line with the current Covid-19 measures, Ride On’s Dr Bike sessions will take place outside, mechanics will observe social distancing, wear masks, gloves, and disinfect contact points of bicycles before and after working on them.

“The Covid -19 pandemic has been an incredibly stressful time for NHS staff,” adds Will. “The bike checks will help them keep cycling, promote wellbeing and reduce stress.”

The NHS is keen to support staff cycling to work as it is a great way to keep socially distanced as well as being good for their health and reducing pollution. 38% of car journeys in the UK are less than two miles, a distance that could easily be cycled. Support for projects like Dr Bike will help reduce the number of car journeys and the associated pollution and congestion.

There has been plenty of positive feedback from NHS staff who took part in the RD&E Dr Bike sessions.

One NHS staff member commented:

“I left feeling more empowered to ‘have a go’ myself in future, equipped with the understanding to make basic safety checks and maintenance, from oiling the chain to checking wear and tread on tyres.”

Another said:

“… the service was fantastic; the mechanic was so patient……. He explained all about the gears, chains, brakes etc. Half an hour went really quickly and now the ride of the bike is so much smoother.”

For more information on the Ride On Dr Bike sessions at local community hospitals get in touch with Ride On. 

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