At the age of around 7, most children learn how to ride a bike. A few scraped knees and a couple of laps around the driveway later, we're given the best gift imaginable: freedom.
Suddenly we're not confined to our home and our street, we can visit our friends' houses and explore our towns, away from our parents.
I spent my childhood summers in Turkey and without my bike I would've been totally isolated, and probably really bored. All the kids in the area had bikes and we'd meet up, cycle around and generally spend all day playing. There were no phones and we didn't plan to meet up, but if we saw all the bikes outside Zeynep's house we'd just wander straight in.
As we hit around 16/17 something happened. Cycling suddenly wasn't the best way to get around. Some of us learnt to drive and had access to cars, and the bikes got pushed to the back of the shed, only coming out for the occasional family bike ride.
I didn’t really take cycling seriously again until the pandemic hit and the thought of getting on the underground in London didn’t appeal so much. I bought a cheap Dutch style bike (basket included - of course) and used it to commute from Brixton to Dalston. Once I started cycling again my first thoughts were:
- Why didn’t I do this sooner, it’s so much fun
- Everyone in London needs to be cycling
Cycle commuting for the last 18 months has totally changed my life. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I’m in a better mood when I get to the office and when I get home, I’ve saved well over £1000 on public transport and I’ve explored my city in a way I’ve never been able to before (plus, the CO2 emissions I’ve saved is apparently the equivalent of 7 trees).
Along with my brother David, I’m now on a mission to get as many people cycling in cities as possible. We’re building Fermain to be a hub for urban cyclists, providing helpful content and information to get you on your bike, as well as a range of clothing and products tailored to urban cycling.
We’d love to chat so please don’t be shy to contact us with any thoughts/comments/feedback.
Speak soon :)