A THANK YOU right back at you

A THANK YOU right back at you my #cycling and noncycling friends!!

During #VolunteersWeek BritishCycling said #cyclingsaysthanks and asked for people to put forward volunteers who you thought should receive a #thankyou and this is what I received from British Cycling……

Hi Jo
As part of National Volunteers’ Week, we at British Cycling want to say thank you to as many of our brilliant volunteers as possible. We know that our sport simply wouldn’t function without you, and we have asked our membership to nominate the volunteers who have truly made a difference to them thanks to their tireless dedication to cycling.

We have unsurprisingly been inundated with nominations, but I am delighted to say that you have been selected to receive a small token of our appreciation and we would like to offer you two tickets to the Track World Cup (Friday 14th December, AM session).

We will send additional details in due course, but in the meantime if you could let us know the name of the other person who will be attending, we can pass this on to the organisers.

Thanks once again for all of your contributions,

Steph
VOLUNTEERING

Thank You
Thank you to everyone who took time to put my name forward, some of who I am aware of, others I am not. THANK YOU.

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
Happy to be cycling

It’s a two way thing volunteering. Volunteers wouldn’t volunteer if they didn’t get something out of it….. and what do I get out of it I hear you say…. I my case, contentment.

I’ve ambled through life never seeming to get it quite right BUT one thing I can say I’ve done right is volunteering.

Try it and you’ll see what I mean

Volunteering is the new Therapy session
I would recommend to everyone to try volunteering at least once. You may not immediately think you are making much of a difference, especially if you are stood on the side of a dirt track for 2 hours pointing in the direction people need to go, BUT if it weren’t for you pointing the way and being a helping hand, many events would simply not happen, and many people would miss out on participating in all kinds of events.

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
Cycling with buddies, brilliant

British Cycling Breeze Champion
I volunteer with British Cycling as a Breeze Champion and Guide Ride Leader.
Breeze is British Cycling’s ambition to get 200,000 more women cycling before 2020…. And yes, they’ve only gone and done that!!
You can read about it here

The pleasure I get from seeing woman again confidence and ability on their bikes, something they didn’t think they would achieve, fills me with such joy.

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
Fun, laughter and lovely ladies

As confidence builds on the bike, it then begins to transcend to other aspects of their life, Example if I may ….
…. Back in October, a new lady to my Breeze rides contacted me, you could tell straight away her lack of confidence and overwhelming self doubt. She said rather hesitantly she rode an electric bike and was it ok to come on my Breeze ride ………

….ABSOLUTELY YES! It’s a bike and you have to balance and pedal … come on and join the ride

Along with 3 other ladies, this group has grown from confident strength to confident strength, so much so that THEY asked if we could do a BIG ride, so we rode 33 and 63 miles respectively to Doncaster to see the finish of the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire race. Fantastic achievement Ladies. BUT not sitting back in their comfy armchairs they then wanted a BIGGER challenge ….

…. Wheel of Wakefield 38miles circular route around Wakefield. What a day. With every mile they rode my smile grew bigger and beamed across my face with the sense of satisfaction as I knew how elated these women would feel after challenging themselves in this way.

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
What ever the weather cycling comes with a smile

What next? I’ve told the ladies about my little 3 day rides, mainly C2C (Coast 2 Coast, several different routes) and my recent TPT (Tans Pennine Trail) Wakefield to Hornsea … Let’s do it they shout!!

11th Sept to 13th Sept we will be cycling Wakefield to Hornsea a total of 127miles

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
BKCAT Cycle Circuit has started many a cycling adventure

The ladies have grown hugely in ability and confidence, so much so that, when confronted with a suggestion we open the ride up to the men as well, it was a resounding YES!!!!

….now that’s confidence for you!!!!

Open Country
Wednesday is Wakefield Tandem Cycling Club night and what a brilliant 3 hours of cycling and socialising it is.

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
Wednesday evening Tandem Cycling in Wakefield

Open Country is an organisation assisting disabled people to gain access to the countryside. As well as the Tandem Club clients can enjoy Walking, Orienteering, Gardening, Nature Conservation, Outings, etc.

You can see what Wakefield are up to here

Wakefield Tandem Cycling Club runs from April to October.
Meeting on Wednesday evenings at 6pm at starting points around Wakefield such as Thornes Park, Pugneys and Newmillerdam, we enjoy a few hours cycling, laughing, cycling and pub stop, oh and more laughing.

From doing a couple of laps on Thornes Park athletic track to now doing 15 miles the ‘Tandemoniums’ have grown beyond all recognition from the tasters sessions held back on March.

My fear when first volunteering to pilot (front rider) a tandem was that I didn’t want to be responsible for maiming someone if I crashed or dropped the bike. It’s a huge responsibility.

After a few circuits of the carpark I soon got to grips with taking my first victim  sorry, stoker (back rider) on several circuits of Pugneys Park … and to both our relief without incident.

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
Following the tracks and rails of Wakefield

I recently went a on Sighted Guide Course with Open Country to learn how to correctly guide blind and partially sight people and using a non-apt turn of phrase ‘it really opened my eyes’ to how much confidence and trust blind and partially sighted people put in their guide.

I had a blind fold on and was lead along a corridor, down steps and outside and I have to say I was scared. By the time I got outside I was sweating profusely, a mixture of fear and concentration.

Following that, on Saturday we took Open Country to The Big Bike Revival in Dewsbury, where I accosted two people saying they would be prefect volunteers for Open Country Tandem Club and within minutes I had them on tandems piloting me around the park.

Following on from my Sighted Guide Course I wanted to feel just what it was like on the back of a tandem without sight.

I shut my eyes and held on

Scary!!! I was immediately motion sick (can’t even look at a roundabout in a park without wanting to throw up). I felt wobbly and more than a bit scared. I had confidence in my pilot (he had many years’ experience cycling and tandem cycling) BUT the lack of self control made me feel very vulnerable. You could feel every little adjustment the pilot made and going round corners …. I thought at time we were going to tip over.

The sensation of walking and cycling without sight has cemented my commitment to Open Country

But worth it, Cycling, Chase Your Dreams, No Matter What, Sweat Pledge, This girl can, cycle challenge, get inspired, healthy living, gluten free, Jo Amess, Wakefield, Yorkshire, British Cycling, Let’s Ride, Coeliac, HSBC UK Breeze, Bridgestone, Love to Ride, Cycling UK, open country
Fun, laughter and freedom

I cannot believe that people, blind and patricianly sight people, are willing to put all their trust in me, to get on the back of a bike with me, some just meeting me for the first time and riding 15 miles. It takes a very special, courageous person to do that.

It’s not what I as volunteers do for Open Country, it’s what the people of Open Country gives to me. Contentment

If you would like to support Open Country by either donating your time, money or equipment please do get in touch. As you will be aware charitable organisations do struggle to meet day to day running costs so your support would be greatly appreciated. You can in touch here.

Thank YOU
Breeze Ladies an Wakefield Tandem Cycling Club for trusting in me.

Final word
Volunteer. It’s so rewarding. Volunteer with organisations or events that interest you. You will gain so much from being involved and gain a whole new social network of likeminded friends.

People of the world .. Spice up your bike!!!

Thank you for reading my blurb.
Cycle safe and smile … go on you know you want to!
Jo x
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2 thoughts on “A THANK YOU right back at you

  1. Well done Sis….and to all who know and love Jo, I’m sure you all appreciate the time and effort and humour Jo puts into her cycling Volunteering….a BIG ,BIG thank you…….xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Twin, Thank you, and definatly right back at you! The support you have given me over the years since we starting riding together with the Wednesdays has been invaluable. Treasured times Bro, Thank you xx

      Like

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