Pedal power drives plans to get city's people exercising
SIX-YEAR-OLD Jessica Kalawole teetered and wobbled along as she took her first ride out on a bicycle.
With a broad smile – and with a little help from her mum – the youngster learned about the joys of pedal power.
Jessica, from The Meadows, was among a number of children and adults at the Queen's Drive park-and-ride site, in Lenton, yesterday for a free event designed to encourage exercise and environment-friendly transport.
Ridewise has teamed up with Nottingham City Council and NHS Broxtowe Lifestyle Fund for a series of training sessions to promote cycling.
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Adult, children's and disability bikes were all available.
Jessica's mum, Melissa Crosdale, 29, said: "Jessica doesn't ride, but she's had a go on all the different bikes and they also have ones with two seats so she can start out riding with me to build her confidence up.
"I don't think she's got great balance yet so she's also had a go in the sitting-down ones and she's had a really good time."
The event was the first of a series which will run through 2013 and 2014.
Instructors were on hand to offer advice and "Dr Bike" was carrying out free maintenance checks.
The event was part of Ridewise's Big Wheel scheme which works to promote cycling and other forms of sustainable transport in schools and workplaces.
Alan Clay, 46, had taken along his wife Tracey, 45, and children William, nine, and Charlotte, seven.
"The whole day been really good and the kids have really enjoyed it," said Mr Clay, from West Bridgford.
Lead instructor Ian Hutchinson, who was at the pilot session, was delighted at the turnout.
He expected to see an even higher number at the events later in the year.
He said the aim of the event was to show cycling as a sport that had everything for everyone.
"The more people who get out and get cycling the safer it becomes," he said.
"No one should be excluded from getting out and enjoying themselves."
Future training sessions will take place at the Queen's Drive Park and Ride from 10am to 4pm on April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21 and August 18.