Personality of the Month - Louise Neale, Darlington
What is your job or other main activity that involves cycling?
I am the Cycling Officer for Darlington Borough Council, the only town to be both a Sustainable Travel Demonstration and Cycling Demonstration Town.
How long have you done that?
I have worked for Darlington Borough Council for 5 years. Two years as the School Travel Plan Officer and 3 years in my current role.
What most encourages you about cycling where you live?
I am lucky that where I live is surrounded by great countryside for getting out and about on the bike.
How would you describe yourself as a cyclist?
I use the bike for work journeys, leisure, fitness – a bit of everything. I’ll give any type of cycling a go – this year I’m definitely going to give mountain biking a try!
What is you earliest cycling memory?
Getting a red Raleigh Apple for Christmas when I was about 6 and taking it out for its first spin on Christmas Day and falling off after realising that my dad was no longer holding the back of the saddle.
Where is the best place you have ever cycled?
On the track at the Manchester Velodrome. I was very nervous the first time I went but now Vicky Pendleton had better watch out!
What is your greatest achievement, in terms of encouraging more people to cycle?
Working on the project that has doubled the length of the cycle network in Darlington and has provided information on cycling to all residents of the town.
What single thing do you think would do most to encourage more cycling in the UK?
A complete change in driver attitudes towards cyclists would go a long way to making cyclists feel safer in on road situations.
What has been your favourite cycling experience?
Leading the Tour of Britain out of Darlington in September 2009 was an amazing experience! Being part of such a big event was definitely the most memorable cycling experience I’ve had
What was your worst cycling experience?
Being knocked by a bus when cycling with the Public Transport Officer – ironic! No injuries though just some minor scratches to the bike.
What is it about using your bike that you like the most?
The feeling that you’re keeping fit and exercising whilst also getting to the places you need to be and helping the environment.
The answers given are the opinion of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of any organisation they may represent.