Here you can read about real people who have joined Active Outdoors - all success stories are genuine and taken from our actual participants. Read on....
Why should I cycle in the Wigan Borough? & What are the benefits?
The Wigan Borough is blessed with so much green space, and cycling is a great way to get around and see it all. From beginners to the more experienced cyclist, we can help you stay – or get back – on your bike.
What are the benefits of cycling?
It’s an excellent way to maintain a healthy heart; it can help to mobilise joints without placing stress or strain on them; it is also a social activity and a way of meeting others. Cycling is a great opportunity to relax, get away from it all and enjoy the fresh air and countryside. It’s cheap – no road tax, no MOT or insurance, no breakdown recovery costs, no parking fees and no fuel bills … and during rush hour, it can be quicker than travelling by car! It’s good for the planet – cycles produce no pollution and are quieter too.
How much activity should I do?
If you are an adult, cycling for a total of 150 minutes a week, meets the Chief Medical Officer's recommendations for physical activity. This can be split up into bouts of as little as 10 minutes. The best way to ensure that you keep active over the long term is to include activity in your everyday life.
I haven’t cycled for a while and feel quite nervous, how can I get started?
It’s only natural to feel nervous if you haven’t cycled for a while! Our 30 minute Health on Wheels beginners sessions are an ideal way to help regain your confidence with 1-1 support with one of our volunteers. They take place on traffic free routes from one of our six pods across the borough, and cycles and helmets are provided at no charge. Bring your own roadworthy bike, or use one of ours but booking is essential – contact us on 01942 488 481.
When you feel more confident, we’ll then support you to progress to our longer (one hour) cycle rides. They take place on traffic free routes and are a safe, fun and social way to experience your local green space on two wheels. Bring your own roadworthy bike or use one of ours, but booking is essential – contact the team on 01942 488 481.
I have a health condition – is cycling a suitable activity?
Cycling is an excellent activity to take up, even if you have a health condition. You can usually access one of our Health on Wheels cycling sessions without a delay, however certain health conditions may require a referral note from your GP and a short visit to one of our Activity Referral Officers, where we will discuss your condition in more detail and devise a suitable programme for you. If you have a health condition and would like more advice, contact the Admin team on 01942 488 481.
I'm female and I want to cycle with other females, can you help?
Our Heels & Wheels women only guided cycle rides are fun, friendly and FREE and are a great way to help you regain your confidence. They take place on traffic-free routes, are led by fully qualified female instructors and they provide an hour's leisurely cycle ride in your local green space. Bring your own roadworthy bike or use one of ours, but booking is essential – contact us on 01942 488481, new dates coming soon.
Help! I need some motivation to cycle more, what can I do?
Get online and register for our 12 week online programme and follow your progress. You can also get access to a number of resources and incentives to help get you started and keep you motivated.
How much does it cost?
Our Health on Wheels cycling programme is completely free of charge for the first 12 weeks.
After your first 12 weeks, if you would like to continue to hire an Inspiring healthy lifestyles cycle, a pass will need to be purchased; prices are as follows :-
*£24 for 6 months unlimited use subject to booking availability.
Winter pass – 1st October to 30th March
Summer pass – 1st April to 30th September
*Passes can be purchased throughout the year with prices adjusted accordingly
Passes can be purchased by debit or credit card by contacting Inspiring healthy lifestyles’ Contact Centre on 01942 828508. If you would like to pay cash, passes can be purchased from Inspiring healthy lifestyles’ HQ office at Robin Park Sports Centre (1st floor).
Passes cannot be purchased from any of our cycle pods.
- Any new participants to the programme will receive 12 weeks free before having to purchase a pass in order to continue using our bikes.
- Participants attending on their own bikes continue to ride for free.
Booking is essential at all times by calling 01942 488 481.
What happens on my first visit?
Our trained volunteers will ask you to complete a health screening form before you take part in any activity and remember to bring next-of-kin contact details to include on the form. They will assess how confident you are on a cycle and then offer help, advice and support to increase your confidence and skills. Our volunteers, with your help, will also be able to judge when they feel you are ready to join a longer ride.
Do I book a place in advance or just turn up?
Booking on our cycle rides is essential – please contact us on 01942 488481 to book your place.
What should I wear?
Please wear flat shoes and comfortable clothing (t-shirt, leggings, fleece) - no loose clothing. We cannot guarantee good weather, so bring a waterproof jacket just in case it rains. If it is sunny, wear sunscreen.
What should I bring?
Bring any relevant medication such as inhalers and GTN sprays that you may need for any medical conditions. If you don’t bring this, you may not be allowed to participate. Bring a bottled drink such as water. If you are diabetic, consider bringing a snack.
I’d like to buy my own bike, what sort of bike should I buy?
Choosing the right bike for you depends on what types of journeys you’re going to make. We now have an exclusive partnership with ‘Gearing Up' who refurbish second hand bikes up to a high standard and sell these to the general public for very reasonable prices. ‘Gearing Up’ can be contacted by calling Simon on 07977 047129 or visiting the workshop itself at 4 Hodson Street, Wigan, WN3 4EN.
Alternatively, your local bike shop can help with this important decision – we have listed some local stores
Winstanley Cycles - 01942 707646
Alan’s Bikes - 01942 826598
ML Cycles - 01942 826561
Hindley Cycles - 01942 255173
Ashton Cycles - 01942 719159
Whittles Cycles - 01942 674410
Ratcliffes Cycle Centre - 01942 673481
Factory Direct Cycles - 01942 877147
I am part of a local group and we are keen to start cycling more, can you help?
Our 12 week Get Cycling programme can help get your local group cycling. It includes a weekly guided cycle ride, handy workshops on how to maintain your cycle, advice on what to look for when buying a cycle and even help you to use your new skills to progress to on-road cycling. With the help of a handy cycling starter pack for each group, we will support you to cycle more as part of your everyday life.
A group of my work colleagues want to cycle more, can you help?
Our 12 week Get Cycling programme can help get your workplace cycling. It includes a weekly guided cycle ride, handy workshops on how to maintain your cycle, advice on what to look for when buying a cycle and even help you to use your new skills to progress to on-road cycling. With the help of a handy cycling starter pack for each group, we will support you to cycle more as part of your everyday life.
What else is going on in my local area?
Find out what is going on in your area including events, cycle rides led by our partner organisations, ideas for local cycling routes and links to other useful websites.
I’d like to give something back to my local community, how can I do this?
Volunteers play an important role in the development and provision of our cycling programme, which not only benefits the local community but also themselves. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop an interest, learn new skills, gain a qualification, part time job or develop a career. click here to download the volunteer page
How do I become a Volunteer Cycle Leader?
We offer free training to our volunteers who are willing and able to lead cycle rides in the borough. The one day course is a fun, interactive and practical and covers topics such as how to lead a cycle ride, benefits and barriers to exercise and risk assessments. Once trained, we will provide support and guidance and help you to make the most of your new skills. click here to download the volunteer page