Positive Spin is a project about active leisure and the people who love running, walking, cycling and other forms of human-powered mobility. We want to know why, in a society that has become increasingly sedentary, they do what they do, and what they get out of it. As a project team, we are interested in the stories these people tell us and how we can draw upon these to get more people engaged in active leisure, improving their health, their happiness and the environment around them. The project team comprises researchers in health, ageing, policy studies, and memory studies.
The project began as a collaboration with Bristol-based cycling charity Life Cycle. Working with a group of riders aged 55 or over, we captured their memories and stories of cycling in order to better understand what has kept them mobile or what has recently brought them back to cycling. Our project was less concerned with discussions of infrastructure and road safety (as important as these are) and sought instead to highlight the positive feelings and thoughts associated with cycling. Our aim then and now is to use this ‘Positive Spin’ to re-awaken interest in those who have lost the cycling habit, and encourage them to get back on two (or possibly three) wheels. Our latest project Active in Lockdown is a collaboration with Knowle West Media Centre and aims to build an archive of stories and experiences of active leisure during the Covid 19 pandemic in Bristol and the surrounding area.
Now meet the project team.
Dr Melanie Chalder (Thailand 1999)