Published: 27th Sep 2023 Images: Scottish Cycling

Bike and Blether Completes First Revolution

The Bike and Blether project has been in existence now for one complete turn of the wheel. We evaluate the impact that it’s had on those involved and the people who have ridden with one of our Mental Health Champions.

In August last year we met the first cohort of Bike and Blether Mental Health Champions. Since that time a lot has happened:

Six training sessions delivered by SAMH, three check-ins with the Champions, two weeks of Bike and Blether and Mental Health promotion, one staff Bike and Blether ride, a Bike and Blether ride delivered to SAMH staff, dozens of supportive rides across the country and hundreds of participants supported to ride bikes, connect with people and support each other whilst removing the stigma of talking about mental health. It’s been great.

The final training session with SAMH was delivered last week, and apart from one Champion being on holiday celebrating their birthday, we had a full house. This is testament to the quality of training delivered by Kirsty and Tina from SAMH, they’ve been an inspiration to our champions and at the epicentre of developing the ability of everyone involved to have a positive effect on mental health in our cycling community.

The Champions continued motivation, positive energy and engagement in the programme demonstrates their commitment to make a difference in the cycling community! It is now a valued part of their club environments.

Through feedback from participants on Bike and Blether rides, it is clear to understand the impact that these rides have had:

  • “I love my cycling companion to bits; he saved my life with our conversations on the bike.”
  • “Well that’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. While driving home I felt so good about myself. I’ll admit I have mental health problems but that ride, the fresh air and good company was the best medication I have tried. Here’s hoping for a lot more rides (cakes and coffee too😉) this year and hopefully a lot more people will join. Don’t be shy folks. You dinna have to be up to Sir Chris Hoy’s standards tae enjoy a fine cycle and fancy piece.”
  • “The bike really got me out of a dark place.”
  • “Great ride and craic tonight, cheers for putting it together, sorted my head out nicely.”
  • “Really enjoyed it …definitely delivered on the feel-good Friday title🥰 I was really needing that cycle today – I got bad news yesterday.”
  • “I really enjoyed Monday’s ride.”
  • “The bike has helped me through my divorce.”
  • “It’s good to get out, even in the dark evenings.”
  • “No alcohol and riding my bike is keeping me right.”

We believe that it’s also a great way to make club rides more accessible to those who might think the club environment is not for them.  Looking forward we would love to see every club aspiring to have a Mental Health Champion, if this is something that you are interested in then please get in touch with us at [email protected]