MyCouncilWorks

Wellbeing Wednesday – 4 August 2021

Jane Fowler

Happy Wednesday everyone and I hope that you are well. This week’s Wellbeing Wednesday is all about cycling and walking. I have always loved walking, whether out on the hills, where my folks took us on a regular basis when we were young, or just around town. I was born and brought up near the centre of Edinburgh, which those of you who know it will recognise is a very hilly city – a place where you can definitely get ‘into your stride’! Living in the country now though, it is interesting how little I walk to get from place to place. Making the effort to walk regularly, though, really is worth it. Those of you who are in Mid Argyll – why not join us for our second Wellbeing Wednesday Walk on 11th and get those legs moving!

As far as cycling goes, I used to cycle to school on an old three speed bike with a basket on the front for my books… For years after that, cycling was something that never felt like a pleasurable experience – the bike was uncomfortable, the weather was too wet, cold or windy, the roads were too busy or I didn’t have the kit that I thought was needed (and thought I would look silly in it anyway). But having got a new bike last Christmas, I am a convert!  I have invested in some kit – a bright yellow jacket and helmet were the first essentials – but as you will see below, you can enjoy cycling round and about without having to deck yourself out head to toe in lycra. We have some beautiful countryside, some great tracks and lots of single track roads that are really quiet if you pick the right time. So those of you who think cycling may not be for you – have another think. Get a bike that fits you. Or hire one/try one out and see how you like it. It’s a great way to get some exercise, see some beautiful sights and get away from it all, even just for an hour or so. I’m off to take my brave pills while I think about cycling to Kilmory this Thursday…. See you next week (I hope)

Cycle to Work Day - 5 August 2021

Not all of us will be travelling into the workplace on this year’s cycle to work day but we can still get on our bike and benefit from the feel good endorphins from getting out and generating some pedal power.

In the Netherlands, locals have a relaxed attitude when it comes to riding, wearing clothes that they feel are appropriate, rather than relying only on specific gear and gadgets. This helps normalise cycling and is one of the reasons why it’s such a popular mode of transport there.  So this year’s campaign takes inspiration from our Dutch friends, encouraging us to cycle in whatever gear we’re in.

This falls just in time for the launch of Argyll and Bute council’s new employee benefits scheme which provides both a cycle to work benefit and bike shop for eligible employees.

The cycle to work benefit provides an opportunity to access tax free bikes and accessories for your commute to work and the bike shop provides an opportunity to purchase bikes and cycling accessories for yourself and your family, spreading the cost through a salary sacrifice scheme. For further information visit the employee benefit scheme page on the new employee website.

If you are needing a wee bit more motivation to get on your bike, you might enjoy the following news articles:

Scotswoman breaks Land’s End-John O’Groats cycle record

Cycling Scotland

Scotland’s cycling champions

Cycling UK – real life stories – Martin swaps car for e-bike commute through a forest

ACT Now and Cycle | Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust

Also just a few key points for motorists to remember when passing people on bikes:

  • Always give at least a car’s width of space (1.5 metres) – this will usually mean crossing into the other lane.
  • Wait at a safe distance until you have space and visibility to pass safely.
  • Don’t overtake at blind corners or if there’s oncoming traffic.
  • In towns and in slow-moving traffic, consider if there is any benefit to passing, especially if there are lights ahead.
  • Don’t feel pressure from the person in the car behind to pass before its safe.

Wellbeing Walk - Kilmory, 11 August

Following on from our successful wellbeing walk during Wellbeing Week, we are hoping to organise this on a monthly basis and will be having the next walk on Wednesday 11 August, leaving from the rear car park at Kilmory at 12.30 p.m.

We will be adhering to the lasted Covid-19 advice on socially distancing, which is currently that groups of up of 15 individuals from 15 households can meet together outside, but this may be relaxed further on 9th August.

There are a choice of two routes:

Route 1 – this is around Kilmory Loch and takes up to 45 mins – the ground is a little uneven at times, there are a few steps and couple of steep sections but it is a really interesting walk taking in some beautiful surroundings.

Route 2 – this is around Kilmory Gardens and takes 15 to 20 mins, with lots of beautiful trees and flowers to admire on the way and the walkway is mostly flat.

If you would be interested in joining us on the walk, please email wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk to let us know, so that we can monitor numbers in accordance with any necessary restrictions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

As always, please continue to let us know your thoughts and ideas about the items featured in our Wellbeing Wednesdays each week and send us your suggestions for future topics – we love to hear from you.

The Wellbeing Team:  wellbeing@argyll-bute.gov.uk