Safiya’s experience of Active Travel On Holiday By Bike

Safiya was just one of our group who’d never camped before. This is her account of the event! The City Council is keen to promote Active Travel because It will help to boost the health and wellbeing of Leicester residents, reduce pollution and promote safety for all.

Friday evening.

All set for the night.  You can tell I’m a novice, when the others saw my chair, they said that’s not a chair it’s a throne! That made me laugh,  looking at the images now, it’s huge. Very comfy. 

Instant noodles, pasta packs and soup but I really was out of my comfort zone, it took me longer than normal to prepare my dinner!

Cleaning my teeth – Miswwak Natural Toothbrush

I took my Miswwak with me to camp! This is a  natural toothbrush that my fellow campers did not know about, so here it is! 

A Miswak is a small thin twig, derived from the Salvadora persica tree. The Miswak’s natural properties serve as chemical plaque control.  It’s easy to carry, disposable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly. No need for toothpaste ( less to carry), and it’s healthy. Read up to learn about this natural product. You can buy on-line and they come vacuum packed. We’ve been using these for over 1400 yrs! 🙂  

Miswak natural toothbrush

Overcoming my fears 🕷                          

Time to switch off the lights.  I settled into my tent and was just hanging the lantern over my head so I could just organise my stuff – and there it was! The biggest spider I had ever seen!

I had to calm myself quickly and so I named the spider ‘Steven’ it worked, and then there was another so that was Steven’s wife!  I managed to get them both out.  After, that I was unable to get to sleep.  I could hear a fox crying. But, I did eventually get to sleep.

Saturday Morning. What a beautiful view to wake up to! 

The River Soar next to the Outdoor Pursuits Centre
Lovely sunny day for our cycle ride.
Early morning scene at the camp site.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day to cycle around. 

Getting ready to ride around Watermead Park with one of the two cycling groups organised that day.

Safiya’s setup at the camp.

I joined the led ride with Peter and Kevin, this was my first and I enjoyed it very much. My confidence was building and I look forward to joining more of these.

The Watermead Park group preparing to leave the Outdoor Pursuits Centre for King Lears Lake
Up near the Woolley Mammoth

I didn’t ride all the way up the hill to the life-sized sculpture of a woolly mammoth, but I certainly sped down and stayed on my bike.  Susan & Maryam, my instructors at Ride on Sistas, would have been proud! Excellent control.  I was proud of myself, didn’t fall and had excellent smooth brake control!


King Lears lake
The group chatting about camping up at King Lear’s Lake

This was fun! I made a suggestion to Peter. I said we had the before-ride photo of the cycle group, but it would be cool to have the after image – looking exhausted! We agreed it with the group and so I got to say “ACTION!”

Everyone totally exhausted
And “Cut!” – that’s Kevin
Masala tea bubbling away, and the spices’ aroma filled the air around us.

I made ‘masala tea’ and shared it with bloggers, around-the-world-cyclists and like-minded individuals who shared their camping experiences and tips.  I was in another world, so calm, not once did we talk about our work and that’s exactly what I needed.

Late evening chat
More late evening chat!
My water supply to cook with and tea towel to dry the pots that I used.

Safiya recently finished one of her sessions with ‘Ride on Sistas’. Everyone’s talking about my masala tea 🙂

Looks like I have inspired others to take part in this cycle camping activity. Some have made it clear that will only come if I’m there to make the masala tea!🤔.

Perhaps we could have one day when I can come and make masala tea like a taster’ for everyone.

I think this might just work, of course, it’ll have to be a Saturday or Sunday and at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre (local ) we can kill two birds with one stone, help the centre get the customers it needs and get the publicity that will help to attract more participants trying out “Active Travell with a cycle on holiday”. 🤔

Saturday Evening

Getting the fire going.

Camping Weekend (26 to 28 August)

– sponsored by Leicester Wheels for All, Ride Leicester, Community Cycles Leicester and Leicester Spokes

This information is for those who have registered for the event. (Registration is now closed)

For further details about the Outdoor Pursuits Centre see

The event is a Show and Tell about Active Travel on holiday with a cycle. It is for those who have already booked their places at the event.

Background We want to show how easy it is to choose whether to cycle, walk or bus on holiday. This event is about how to holiday sustainably on a bike. It is aimed at anyone who wants to use their cycle to go on a holiday with a low carbon footprint. The event will be held at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and particularly welcome people (families and individuals) who have never cycle camped before. The event starts at 17:00 on 26 August 2022. The event plan is outlined below.

ArrivalBetween 17:00 and 19:00 on Fri 26 August 2022 come down to the Leicester Outdoor pursuits Centre where we will be ready to greet you.
VenueLeicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Loughborough Road, Leicester LE4 5 PN
17:00From 5 pm: set up camp (We can help with this if you are unsure what to do. Please just ask one of the team)
19:30Get-together in the Bushcraft Area Introductions etc
10:30The arrival of Leicester Spokes to pick up anyone who would like to join their 40-mile ride. The anticipated return time is 14:30. It is an open ride for anyone who can cycle at an average of 12 mph. There will be a lunch stop.
11:00Cycling session for people who would like a short ride (and therefore not participating in the 10:30 event, above). This will be tailored to the requirements of the group members. The distance will be short and designed to get us back to the centre by 13:00.
15:20Bell Boating event which starts at 15:30 (Restricted to those who have pre-booked and completed the consent form – Report to the LOPS Reception where Peter will be waiting for you. )
18:00Cycle Camping Show and Tell Debs and Jo ( The show and tell will include excerpts from their global camping tour (see )
20:30Social – in the Bushcraft area. Bring your own food and drink
Sunday10:00 Get together – and the wrap up session. How did it go. Should we run the event again. What went well. What could we do differently.. Those wishing to stay Sunday night are welcome to do so, however they must have left the site by 09:00 Monday morning. This is due to other LOPC children events taking place on Monday.
Table of events – Active Travel by Bike – Taster event.

We want to encourage Active Travel through cycling. In this case cycle camping in a low carbon way. The organisers regard this innovation as a “proof oif concept” if the concept works well we envisage running it again with the benefit of lessons learned from this year’s.

Twitter thread:-

Leicester City Council has a policy of promoting Active Travel which includes the aspiration of attaining a “15 minute” city. Here is the extract:-

The Leicester Transport Plan 2021 – 2036 sets out an ambitious programme of transport improvements for the next decade including transforming our railway station to provide
an impressive new gateway into Leicester, delivering an exciting new Greenlines electric express bus network and establishing a world class city wide network of cycleways
and paths, aiming for a ’15 minute’ city where people can access a large range of facilities in 15 minutes using sustainable transport.

Green Bicycle Mystery – Extra Pictures

Thank you to those who came on the rain-affected Green Bicycle Mystery Ride today. The weather wasn’t helpful but I hope you enjoyed it.

As promised here are photos of the things that we missed, We hope to run this popular event each year so perhaps we will see you again on this or other Ride Leicester events.

The County Police HQ in 1920 was in this building in Market Street South (Now Green Dragon Sq
The Police Court, Horsefair Street, where Ronald Light was charged in 1920 (Police Courts are no longer a part of the legal system) The building is now an opticians.
View from Horsefair St of the yard in which Ronald Light was included in an identity parade. This is the yard behind the County Police HQ in Market Street South.
The Leicester Castle Court – which was the scene of Ronald Light’s Trial. The court room itself has been restored to its original condition.

Posted by Peter Simmonds on 2 July 2022

The Secret Garden

On Tuesday 12 April, a group of Bradgate Heights residents visited the Secret Garden at Glenfield Hospital. Here are some photos, videos and articles about the fabulous attraction. We all really enjoyed it and plan to go again sometime. There will be a small cafe and a book nook there, too. The manager is Karen James who is always pleased to greet parties of local people who live and work in the vicinity.

The Secret Garden at Glenfield Hospital
A pictorial history of Mansion House (sometimes Glenfrith House) at Glenfield Hospital

Further reading. You can see more about the walled garden at the following link from Leicestershire and Rutland Gardens Trust (opens in a new window.)

This page was posted by Peter Simmonds on 12 April 2022