Lesley Danson

Our May 24 Calendar Belle

My first vivid memory of cycling was when I was about 16. A friend of mine had taken on a decorating job and asked for my help. I was very excited to be able to earn some money and get to and from work independently on her spare bike. With the reckless confidence of youth, I don’t remember any fear of riding on the roads, despite a total lack of experience and the fact that she was much taller than me and at every junction or stop I had to leap off the bike to stop myself collapsing in a heap!

It was many years before I cycled again on a family holiday in Bavaria.  We spent several happy days cycling around the flat peaceful countryside. It seemed a great idea to start cycling at home but all my confidence evaporated when I got back to the traffic and hills of Bradford.

Then Bingley Belles started and with gentle but persistent encouragement from Sarah White, I eventuality took to the pedals. I’m not very sporty or very fit but I really enjoy the rides I’ve done with the Belles. I love being outdoors in green spaces and find all the women I’ve met to be friendly and had so many interesting conversations. 

I’m sporadic with my engagement as my mental health and energy levels often go through big dips but despite this, I always feel welcomed and encouraged by the Belles, for which I’m very grateful, it enables me to keep going. 

I don’t have a particular favourite route but I always love those that encompass the canalside. I love the birds, the greenery,  the tranquility and the continually changing view depending on weather, the time of day and the season.

Lesley Danson's favourite ride

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