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March 7, 2023

Senior Spin: a tour de force

Profile image for Mark Woodsworth

Programme Manager, Travel Connections

As you may recall from previous Travel Connections ‘ blogs we at LOPF are continually looking for ways to improve transport options for older adults across Leeds. One of our five themes is Active Travel. Our first event, held at Meanwood Urban Valley Farm with Wheels 4 Fun  late last year, was a great success. We were very lucky that day to have the sun come out and keep everybody warm and allow them to enjoy their time cycling up and down the paths.

This was all well and good but as any Game of Thrones fan knows “Winter was coming!” Dark days were ahead; cold and wet weather forecast for far too long in what only the most diehard cyclist would surely venture outside. Well, Tracy from the Travel Connections team is not one to sit on her laurels and wait for warm and sunny days to return!

“If you build it, they will come!”- a nice Field of Dreams quote to give you an idea of Tracy’s determination.

No, Tracy didn’t build an indoor cycling track on her Christmas break. What she did do was meet with Active Leeds to discuss utilising one of their five spin studios dotted around Leeds.  These are often quiet during the normal working day; what better time for a group of older adults to go for a ride whilst remaining warm and dry?

Having identified a suitable location and finalised a plan, all that was left was to see if anybody was interested in joining. A call to arms ensued; posters were displayed and local groups were introduced to the concept that is Senior Spin, a 6 week course held at John Smeaton Sports Centre, led by a qualified instructor followed, of course, by tea, cake and a good chat.

The session went extremely well, you did not feel under pressure and was quite relaxed

Everyone was friendly and it was well led

Group of older people, in bright yellow 'senior spin' tops, in the studio with static bikes

Is it possible to be too successful or have demand outstrip supply? In the case of Senior Spin, yes… and no. Within a week the six week course had been fully booked with an ever growing waiting list of older people keen to participate! What do we do I hear you ask? Well I will tell you what Tracy did – if you know her you may have already guessed. A second six week course was arranged and booked to run in tandem (get it?) with the first. So now we have doubled the capacity and shrunk the waiting list, although there is still a waiting list!

That was really good fun and I’m really looking forward to the next session

What a great first session

The first two sessions were held on 23 February. Everyone turned up. From the smiles, conversations  and quotes, I think all enjoyed themselves.

I’ve wanted to have a go at a Spin class for sometime but never felt confident enough to go to a class, mainly because I thought I would probably feel intimidated by a younger, fitter group of people! So I think this is a super project for us ‘older’ folk to get involved in

Mark Woodsworth
Travel Connections Programme Manager