NHS Forth Valley 90-Day E-bike Trials with Forth Environment Link

We recently had the chance to catch up with Tracey-Anne Wilson, a health records assistant, during our pop-up event at Stirling Health and Care Village on January 17th. Tracey-Anne had an extended trial of an e-bike during the lockdowns for COVID-19 and it changed how she travelled to work. Once a car commuter, the electric-assisted bike helped Tracey-Anne to cycle over 10 miles every day for work and leisure, replacing over 75% of her car journeys with e-bike travel.   

We asked Tracey-Anne how she was getting on with cycling now that the trial was over: 

I returned the e-bike over 12 months ago and bought myself a pushbike, which I use for commuting and try to use instead of the car – weather permitting. I am planning to take my bike across to the Isle of Coll in the summer. 

With the change to a pushbike, we wondered how it is now for Tracey-Anne cycling to work and for leisure: 

I am still cycling a lot. There is a great cycle path in my area which takes me right to Stirling Community Hospital.I don’t have to use any main roads. The only thing is, the cycle route I use is very dark in the winter but I am getting braver and have very good lights. The only barrier I have is the icy weather. 

Tracey-Anne highlights the importance of high-quality infrastructure and increased confidence in being able to make convenient and enjoyable journeys, but also that cycle routes need to be safely gritted during the icy winter months. Our expert cycle trainers are also on hand to help you with advice and skills sessions to be able to cycle safely in lots of different conditions. 

We asked Tracey-Anne if she would recommend the 90-day e-bike trial and what her memories were of her time with the e-bike: 

Absolutely! In fact, I still recommend it highly to anyone thinking about taking up cycling that doesn’t think they are fit enoughMy e-bike experience was amazing. It made my commute so much easier to Forth Valley Royal Hospital and sometimes I got home before people in my area because the traffic was so bad when they were using cars. It was so good for my mental health, especially during Covid. My commute to work was stress-free along country roads, I got to see the wildlife as I passed, met lots of lovely people along the way, and also had some good conversations and tips when unlocking my bike at the bike racks. I recommended the e-bike trial to everyone I came across. A few people have even invested in their own e-bikes. 

Thank you so much to Tracey-Anne for taking the time to speak with us, and for such lovely recollections of the e-bike commute.  

During our pop-up at Stirling Health and Care Village, we also signed up two more NHS Forth Valley staff members for 90-day e-bike trials of their own. They will be receiving their bikes and accessories soon, alongside a digital care package with more information, and if you also work for NHS Forth Valley, you can add yourself to the waiting list by contacting us from your NHS email.