FAQ Is it COVID safe?
“Organised outdoor sport, including team sport, exercise classes and other outdoor physical activity, is exempt from legal gathering limits across all tiers and can take place with any number of participants.”
Safety is always top priority. All the activities run by Bikeworks have been assessed and relevant COVID measures put in place. Activities are all in line with the latest government guidance on sports and recreation activities relevant to the Tier rating, and when cycling in a group outdoors it is very possible to stay at least 2 metres (a bit more than a bike length) apart.
FAQ What will I be doing during the program?
The program is 2 sessions per week over a month and you are encouraged to come twice a week to build your fitness levels and get the most out of it. Together the group will work on developing their skills and confidence on a bike by following the Bikeability national standard syllabus (bike control etc).
- It’s sociable You will also meet other people who might be managing weight issues, who want to improve the health of their heart, who are looking for new friends and to get out more or who are just keen on cycling- the pace of sessions is tailored around the group.
- Learn new skills You’ll hear about some approaches for managing and improving your own wellbeing as well as having time to enjoy being in nature during the sessions- we may explore the River Lea or Hackney Marshes, both of which offer the opportunity to get away from it all, even just for a moment.
- Be outdoors in green spaces You will work on your fitness levels and aim to increase your heart rate during the sessions, all whilst experiencing the benefits of outdoor exercise in a fun and supportive group. Expect to improve your stamina and get out of breath!!!
Who can take part in the Wellbeing program?
The course is for adults experiencing a broad range of social or health issues (loneliness/ anxiety, mental ill health, weight management issues, other medical issues) can take part. This is primarily aimed at people who live in East London- Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Waltham Forest, City- you’ll need to be able to get to the Velodrome or Victoria Park to take part.
COVID-19 note – We will make arrangements to go ahead but will need to work within the government safety guidelines.
How do I join?
- You can book a place on the program for yourself or on behalf of someone else.
- You can refer someone else using the Referral/Enquiry box (on this page) and we will call them to follow up, or support them with the booking process.
- Need Help completing the booking process? Fill in your name and number on the easy Referrals/Enquiry Form and we will call you to book online.
How much does it cost?
This progam is supported by the London Community Foundations, East Village E20 or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea so there is not cost for attending.
Do I need to be able to ride a bike to take part?
You should be able to ride a 2 wheel bike without someone else’s help or be willing to try a different kind of bike (with 3 wheels for example).
If you can ride a 2 wheel bike but are a bit rusty or lack confidence then this is for you!
This course is not for people who have never ridden a 2 wheel bike before, or who cannot ride a bike a short distance without someone helping. If you cannot ride at all and live in Tower Hamlets you can book a free lesson to learn to ride a bike here.
If you find it difficult to ride a 2 wheeler for any reason but are willing to try you can take part using one of our all ability bikes (see below).
Do I need a bike or can I borrow one?
You can use a 2 wheeled bike from our fleet or you can bring your own bike – check it is roadworthy one week before the program- here is a guide to help you.
If a 2 wheeled bike doesn’t work for you for any reason, you can use an adapted cycle (including 3 wheel tricycles and recumbents) from our All Ability program.
Where do the activities take place?
- QEOP: Courses take place at the Velodrome at Lee Valley VeloPark, QEOP, Abercrombie Road, London, E20 3AB
- Find detailed information about how to get to the Olypmic Velodrome/ (also called Lee Valley Velopark) here.
- Victoria Park: Meet at the Bikeworks base which is the two green shipping containers just inside the park entrance by the top lock on the Hertford Union Canal, accessed from Parnell Road.
What else do I need to take part?
This is an outdoor activity so be prepared for all sorts of weather! The best approach when exercising outdoors is to have thin layers so you can peel them off as you get warmer, but wrap up at the end of the session when your body cools down.
Rain proof or windproof jackets are good, with a couple of thin breathable layers underneath.
Gloves can also be really handy- your hands will be exposed to lots of wind when you’re speeding along on your bike!
Helmets are not compulsory to wear when cycling in the UK, but if you want to wear one make sure it fits well to your head and the straps are done up correctly – the instructor can help you check this. If you want to borrow one, they are available to borrow.
What’s the Challenge Ride all about- is it going to hurt?!
It shouldn’t hurt, no! You will have done 4 weeks of cycling by then so will have improved your bike control and stamina.
This is the challenge- to plan and complete a longer bike ride which is a further than you might have cycled before. It’s up to you and your group to decide where (and how far!) you want to go. You will ride together through parks and on quiet roads as a guided group, so it’s a gentle introduction to riding on the road if you haven’t done that before.
It’s a group leisure ride to a place of beauty or interest, so you will still spend time enjoying what’s around you and have a cup of tea (and cake?) somewhere along the way.
Expect to ride between 7-12 miles and burn 150 – 280 calories (minus what you eat in cake), or more if you fancy it!
As well as a physical/distance challenge, this is also a chance to explore the 5th step of Wellbeing: ‘giving to others’. There’s the opportunity to hear about further learning, wellbeing activities or volunteering programs, if that’s something you want to get involved in. So for example, Community Gardening, Baking apprenticeships or supporting people to visit the Olympic Park and venues.
COVID-19- note that many programs are not operating in lockdown but we can still look into what opportunities might open up come spring/summer 2021!
Do I have to sign up for Volunteering? I only want to ride a bike and meet people.
There’s no obligation to do volunteering and the places we visit on the Challenge Rides are all nice destinations in themselves so you should still leave with a sense of achievement at the end of the day when you see how many miles you have travelled by bike!
One of the 5 Steps to Wellbeing is Giving to Others, but as you will see on this program, there are many more ways to Give to Others than formal volunteering.
What is in place to make sure it is Covid-19 secure?
With the situation developing all the time and government regulations changing, you can be assured that we will be operating in accordance with the existing guidelines at the time of the session.
- Group size: Rules for the number of people for outdoor activity will be followed. As we know, COVID spreads more easily in indoor/ poorly ventilated areas- that’s why doing exercise and meeting other people is safest done outdoors. Usually there will be 8 participants with 2 instructors on this course- we will let you know if the COVID rules change and the session has to change.
- If you are borrowing a bike or helmet- you’ll be asked to wipe it down with sanitising spray after you use it, and the instructor will also wipe it down before allowing you to use it. Don’t feel shy to ask if it’s been done!
- PPE will be available: masks, gloves and sanitiser spray for wiping surfaces are all available for you to use at the venue.