“It is my bicycle. There is nothing special in the way I got it. I have been cycling since 2002. So I guess I really love it. And it’s really kind of important to me as form of transport. It’s a form of independence . . . it’s not my first bike but it is the first bike I kind of really thought about, I did some research about it, and it fitted my needs, my size . . .”
“ With previous bicycles, it was for just getting around Manchester, where this one I have taken a further afield. I have done leisure rides out to Cheshire, I have cycled from here to Liverpool. I did a sponsored bike ride of 100 kilometres around London on it, I have been using it for leisure and getting to work. It is the one I have had the longest, and its probably the one in which I have seen my cycling skills grow . . . become more confident, not just using the road, but also confident navigating, or confident in my own physical abilities . . .”
“Even though it is a bit battered and it’s not in great condition . . . I am still very precious about it. I would not want to leave it out overnight even though I don’t think anyone would want to steal it. Because it is just I guess it’s really important to me. And, it would be very inconvenient”.
“It’s really allowed me to be independent . . . you are always told as a woman not to walk home alone . . . you are always told about the dark . . . it has allowed me to stay out at night and come home cheaply. So that’s what it says about me. Its says that I am cheap”.
“In Wolverhampton, I am not a cyclist . . . partly because of my parent’s objections to it, but also because . . . it is not a good place to cycle ”. In Manchester, “so often I would be too busy concentrating on the road but a lot of people would say ‘I saw you but you didn’t see me’.
“Probably people think of me as cool. I don’t think of myself as cool. But given my life and what I have done and what I am. I am not married. I don’t have kids. I have not done the usual thing. I cycle around everywhere. That’s quite unusual. I think probably some people will see me as pretty cool”.
Heena, Asian, 38, female, b.UK