Founder of an amazing cycle service for adults and children whose freedom has been affected by disability, illness or disease.
So, Holly, we’re delighted you will be joining us at our events on Friday and Saturday. Now, you are the founder of Ride Out Ride On. What’s this all about?
Ride Out, Ride On is a one-to-one cycle outreach service, aimed to get people out riding who wouldn’t otherwise be able to do so themselves. We use a Hase tandem – which places the client at the front of the tandem in a recumbent position, leaving the steering, shifting and braking up to me – opening up cycling to anyone irrespective of any confidence, mobility or balance issues they may have. Clients are taken on traffic-free routes, getting them out into the elements, getting them moving, and most importantly, having the sort of adventurous and unencumbered experiences that bikes are so good at opening up.
Have you always been a keen cyclist?
I’ve always been around bikes but until about four years ago I would have never considered myself a ‘keen cyclist’. It was when living in France that I discovered the freedom that travelling by bike can offer, and since returning to Bristol I’ve spent most of my professional time working with bikes, and most of my free time riding them.
What motivated you to start RORO. What has been the response of your clients so far?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brilliant people living with a whole range of conditions. Those conditions can, however, threaten to put them in isolating positions. It’s a very human need to be outside and to interact with other people, and this is something that can all too easily be taken for granted. RORO is my attempt to bring some visibility, some movement and some fun back into the lives of those who may need it the most.
The client base includes people living with stroke, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism, sensory impairments, amongst others, and in each case we’ve been able to bring the unique joy of being self-propelled, and in the great outdoors, into their lives.
How did you hear about Women’s Adventure Expo? What are you most looking forward to on Saturday?
I’ve known about WAExpo for the last couple of years but it was when Tania, one of the founders, came on a Women of Bristol cycle tour that I put on for International Women’s Day that the event came into full focus. The year’s Expo is set to be a real treat, but I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Dervla Murphy. Since I was given a copy of Full Tilt: From Ireland to India with a Bicycle by my parents, Dervla has been a hero of mine. I’m also looking forward to Mel Nicholl’s talk. She is a true inspiration and is too a woman of heroic proportions.
Where we can catch you at this year’s Expo?
On Friday 5th October I will be leading a bike tour before the Adventure and Wellbeing event and then will be speaking about Ride Out Ride On at the ‘Present your Project’ session in the Watershed. Saturday 6th we will be on the North Terrace at We The Curious event suite for WAExpo2018, giving demos on the tandem. Come and have a go!
Find out more about RIDE OUT RIDE ON here