Modeshift will be introducing an inspiring Active Travel Champion each week throughout Black History Month to celebrate every day people inspiring every day journeys.
A celebration of walking and cycling during Black History Month and beyond!
This week we meet Denise Adolphe, Active Travel Champion.
Tell us about you and your active journey, who you are, where you live and whether you are heels or wheels?
My name is Denise Adolphe, I live in Walthamstow in London, and I love walking and cycling equally.
Where do you roll and stroll? How far is the journey, where do you go, how often and who with and do you have a favourite journey, destination or route?
Most weeks I walk approximately 6km four/five days or cycle 15km once/twice and walk two/three days. If I’m going into the office (which is 9km from home) I will generally walk there and get public transport back, or cycle there and back.
What motivates you to roll and stroll? When did it all start? Why do travel this way? Is there someone who inspires you and how does it make you feel?
I’ve always been really active and enjoyed going to the gym but in 2010 I was diagnosed with an auto immune illness which, amongst other things, causes fatigue. Thankfully I was able to get back to exercising by listening to my body and doing what I could. I started cycling to work in 2012 and it was a real revelation. I went from cycling the same route a vehicle would take, to planning my route through parks and open spaces. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with sciatica and was in so much pain that I was unable to do exercise classes or lift weights, so I started walking more. I love walking and cycling because I love being outdoors, looking at the views, listening to the birds and breathing clean air – I am lucky to have parks the marshes and the canal on my doorstep. When I walk or cycle to work (or before working from home) I feel calm and ready to start the workday.
How do you champion the cause? What words of encouragement or advice would you give someone to follow in your steps?
Walking and cycling are the healthiest and cheapest way to travel, and it keeps you fit, so just get out there and do it. It doesn’t matter how slow you are. I’m not quick but I always think to myself that I’m quicker than the person who is still sitting on the sofa.