Support gets Anne Scerri back on her bike
Anne started cycling at age 3, but didn’t get her first bike until 20 years later.
I grew out of my three-wheeler and never got a two-wheel bike. It wasn’t until we moved when I was 10 that the girls across the road taught me how to ride. My husband bought me my first bike when I was 23! I rode it for about a year but we gave it away because it wasn't being used.
Fast-forward 30 years, and a message motivated her to give it another shot.
I saw a newspaper article about Ladies Back On Your Bike, where the council was providing free lessons led by Jacinta Costello. I made myself go and do the lessons, and I joined the group and pushed myself week after week. It was inspiring to meet a whole bunch of women who were all so different yet all got on so well.
The nurturing boost to her health and wellbeing keeps Anne cycling.
You discover you have lungs and muscles, and you may lose weight or just change shape. I feel sluggish if I’m off the bike for a while - it really affects my wellbeing. Riding gives me a sense of freedom and it has become as natural as breathing.I really experience my surroundings; the weather, sounds and smells of the environment.
Picking the best routes and prepping her ride helps her feel safe on the roads.
You’ll need to wear a bike helmet that fits correctly, have your lights on at all times, and try to steer clear of all-black clothing. Read the traffic, and give a wave of thanks when drivers give you space. If you’re driving, make sure you look before you open the door. I got car-doored in Sandringham a couple of years ago - thankfully it was right outside the hospital!
Anne encourages others to seek support to get back on the bike later in life.
Find a group that offers lessons to help you gain confidence. Bike shops can usually guide you to a community group. Or ask a friend to go with you for a ride. If you’re fearful about riding, start on the bike paths or go around the back streets with a friend. Don't be too ambitious but don't be too timid, either.
She believes more patience from drivers and riders would make our roads safer.
You’re meant to drive under the speed limit, so don’t push it to the limit all the time. Be slower to cross the road, and look at the traffic. People need to think about who is waiting for them at the end of the day.