If you're already in need of inspiration to persevere with your new year’s resolution then look no further than a Waverton woman who has completed her pledge to cycle every day in 2014.
Vicky Shearn resolved to use the mode of transport for 365 days consecutively because she wanted to challenge herself to lead a lifestyle that matched her values.
The 31-year-old postgraduate, who is travelling to India later this month to volunteer with Raleigh International for seven months, said she ‘loved and hated’ the challenge and found it made her rethink her habits.
“The aim was that I would not use a car for journeys less than 10 miles, unless it was unavoidable – transporting thing mostly,” she said.
“The cycling was the thing that I did each day, but I have also changed my shopping habits, stopped using large brands, stopped using supermarkets and have got involved in environmentally positive things, such as joining Friends of the Earth and creating protest art inspired by Craftivism.”
But she admitted that forcing herself to use her bike when the weather was bad or she was tired was a struggle and that she didn’t ‘nip out’ as much as when she was using her car.
So she set up a blog – craftycycling – to document her experience and keep her on track.
Vicky said she suspects it was the first time she stuck to a new year’s resolution, the key to which she believes is making it fun.
“If you are going to hate it then you will not stick with it. I love cycling so I built a challenge around something that I am passionate about and enjoy. It’s a good idea to do something that you have always wanted to do or have an interest in.”
Vicky also raised funds for Sustrans, Raleigh International and Oxfam over the course of the year by taking part in sponsored 100k overnight bike ride Nightrider and organising collections, coffee mornings and second-hand book stalls.
She set up the Chester arm of Critical Mass – a monthly worldwide cycling event – in August, to bring the city’s cyclists together and promote the sport.
For more information about Critical Mass Chester, visit www.facebook.com/criticalmasschester .