Milestones Trust

Removing barriers

Gail's story

The great thing about Warmley Wheelers is that it enables everyone to cycle in a way that is safe and enjoyable.

Gail, Programme Assistant, Warmley Wheelers
A drawing of a bicycle with yellow circles around it

Cycling is a huge part of my life. My parents were keen cyclists, so I’ve been riding a bike since I was a baby!

But cycling is not just my mode of transport – it’s also become my sport and my community. I do long distance cycling and I’ve got to a point where I’m supported by brands to do it. Last year I completed the Tour Divide, a 2,745mile race from Banff in Canada to New Mexico where you have to support yourself entirely. I love that a challenge like that feels so removed from normal life.

A woman standing in front of a fence

I also work for British Cycling as a soigneur, which is a bit like a carer.  My job is to support the elite cyclists, and I suppose I’m like a team dogsbody! I’m the masseur, the cook, the driver – and I also support people emotionally.

Given what cycling means to me, maybe it’s not surprising that I got involved with Warmley Wheelers. Not long after I moved to Bristol a few years ago, I was cycling along the Bristol to Bath railway path, and I noticed all these amazing bikes. I had to find out what was going on! I got talking to Andy, the Project Coordinator, and he asked me if I’d like to get involved. I started volunteering not long after that, and now I work at Warmley Wheelers one day per week.

My main career is as a physiotherapist, so Warmley Wheelers fits perfectly with my passions and interests. I know that if we have movement in our lives, it keeps our bodies working well, whether that’s cycling, walking or running. And cycling brings huge benefits to mental health as well. I love that it gives me the space to think about things and at Warmley Wheelers we can facilitate more people to feel that freedom and independence too. It removes so many barriers to people getting out.

A woman fixing a bicycle

If someone is interested to know more about Warmley Wheelers, they should come along and see what we’re about. There’s a café right next to us, so grab a cup of tea, chat to people and experience the atmosphere. It’s so welcoming and approachable here, we’re really building a community.

You might not be sure that you want to get on a bike, but the great thing about Warmley Wheelers is that it enables everyone to cycle in a way that is safe and enjoyable. Why not have a ride around our forest trail and see if it’s for you? It’s always nice to explore what you might be capable of…

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