We have two main groups of riders at the moment - the not so slow and the not so fast. The not so slow group include our 4 teens and the electric bike owners and the not so fast group includes the group who prefer to walk some of the hills!
We all get there in the end in hare and tortoises fashion
Today we were travelling from Keighley via Bradford Cycling City - we were greeted with a wonderful curry and took a little time to wander around the enormous historic buildings of the Bradford City Centre
We were greeted by journalists and even completed a radio interview for their community radio station.
City riding is quite a challenge and demands a lot more concentration individually and as a group. There is so much to take in and lots of decisions to make fast. Each small group has a leader who is responsible for navigating and a back stop to make sure no one gets left behind.
We are slowly learning the discipline of the group but when we get exit from roads to cycle ways we all breathe a sigh of relief.
We eventually discovered Huddersfield meeting - and it was good to rest a little. Huddersfield Meeting is in a large building that had once housed a large adult-education project at the top of the hill. We were joined there by the local cycling group that reaches out to many people with disabilities in the area including those with visual impairments using tandems.
I have been thinking about Andy's sharing in meeting yesterday - he spoke of having seen a road called MEWITH or ME-WITH. It is apparent to me as a psychologist this sense of self and this sense of community is something that actively needs nurture and something that we should not take for granted.
But I think we are taking the emergence of this sense of care for community for granted and I think we are underestimating the impact of exclusion of individuals on the longer term outcomes for communities.
I am concerned at what I see happening in schools - developmental thinking has progressively been squeezed out as schools are over assessed on their abilities to deliver the top academic results for some rather than on results for all ranges of ability. The result is a very top down culture that leads to quiet exclusion of those who are most in need of really skilled teaching.
So in order to be able to 'care for all', I think we need to examine some basic premises around the purposes of our education system. What skills and attitudes will our children really most need to be able to experience long term well-being?
A great deal of research indicates that mental health and wellbeing depends upon having some really basic needs met: physical safety but also safety in relationships.
So care for all in my view is not just an economic issue - it must involve attention to relationships at home, relationships at school, relationships at work and in the community.
Communities that have space for hares and for tortoises with a commitment to everyone 'getting there' in the end.
" If I had understood these ideas before I could have been a lot more effective. In previous jobs I have usually been left to get on with it. Now I have a framework that helps me know what I am doing and why in my work with complex young people and their families" Jenny, Family support worker