Active Rossendale Bike Workshop (Active Spaces)
Michael, 42, was diagnosed with a heart murmur as a child, underwent a heart bypass at 19 and later suffered a stroke. Stuck at home because he was too frightened to go out on his own in case something happened, Michael was feeling lonely and isolated.
Always interested in cycling, he thought he would give the workshop a go as a way to “get out of the house and meet new people”.
He never thought after six weeks he’d actually have his own bike, be out cycling and feel so much better in such a short space of time.
Michael said: “When I first came along I really struggled. My heart rate shot up to 198 beats per minute. After six weeks of gentle training, I feel so much better. My heart rate during exercise has lowered to 120 beat per minute and I’ve lost 3kg in weight.
“I feel fitter and stronger and a lot more confident in going out and exercising by myself.”
Michael’s goal is to complete the Manchester to Blackpool charity bike ride for Christies.
Active Rossendale, a project to encourage the take up of gentle exercise, received £16,000 of match funding from Newground Together.
Some of this funding has been used to pay for the Bike Workshop on the Pennine Estate in Bacup. Other funding has been received from Lancashire County Council and CTC – the national cycling charity.
The six week course teaches basic bicycle maintenance. Participants are then introduced to Bikeability skills – cycling proficiency for the 21st century – to make sure they have the confidence to take to the road.
Michael, a tenant of Green Vale Homes, is just one of 30 people from the estate who have participated in the bike project since it was launched earlier this year.
The project is run by James Kenyon of Active Rossendale. James is overwhelmed by the interest of the people on the Pennine Estate and is particularly proud of Michael’s achievements.
The bike project is delivered by Newground part of the Together Housing Group, which also includes Green Vale Homes.
Graham Marshall from Active Rossendale with residents from the Pennine Estate who are taking part in the bike workshop – Sarah Patient, Karren Walsh, Nicole Cullen, Barbara Devlin and Michael McCabe.