“Cycling helps rebalance the stress and strains of the city in a positive way.”
Danny Robinson, Peloton Co-Op
“I got into cycling out of necessity,” says Danny Robinson, who runs a number of cycling-focused projects in and around Liverpool under the umbrella co-operative name Peloton. “When I was younger it was the best and only way I could get round town quickly.
“Later on in life when I got a job it was the perfect way to get to work on a thirteen mile round trip. The headspace it gave me was brilliant. I found myself sharper and quick-witted by the time I got to work; sharper than all those people sat in traffic for an hour getting frustrated.”
Danny really believes in the power of cycling to transform lives. He and a bunch of friends and colleagues have set up a number of projects in and around the city that showcase what cycling can do for the physical health and mental wellbeing of the city’s residents. He has a ‘last mile’ courier business called Agile that delivers bread to many of the city’s thriving independent cafés and restaurants.
“Intimacy is the key to a service like Agile,” he says. “It’s all about talking to people face to face. It’s good for us all to speak to each other rather than just looking at screens or sitting in traffic. We pick up a lot of our business by word of mouth; simply by meeting people in shops, cafés or on the streets of Liverpool.”
When we catch up with Danny he’s parked up at Lovelocks Coffee Shop in the city where he’s just made his last bread delivery of the day.
“I talk with people in their cars as I go by,” he says. “They see the delivery bike I ride, wind down the car window and we have a chat about the bike or the delivery service. It gets a smile out of most people and, let’s face it, people don’t smile that much when they’re stuck in traffic, do they?”
Danny’s particularly proud of his BMX Box project located in Everton Park. It's a tight BMX track serviced by a small team who work out of an old shipping container where the bikes are repaired and stored for local kids to use. Local kids love it and it shows once again that cycling truly is there for all ages to enjoy.
“The transformation you see in some of the kids is remarkable,” he says. “Children who never said a word begin having fun and getting out there learning new skills. Cycling makes people smile. I don’t know if it reminds people of play as kids or the sense of motion they feel. What I do know is that in some small way cycling helps rebalance the stress and strains of the city in a positive way.”
Find out more about Peloton on Twitter @pelotonliv or visit the Bikiosk shop at the University of Liverpool, Mountford Hall, Guild Walk, L3 5TR.