Your Instructor: Dilys Gartside

Dilys Gartside, CTC Volunteer of the Year

Having been discouraged from cycling as a child, my head was turned from car to cycle while studying at Law College.  Aged 26, I bought my first bike and commuted to work for a decade, disregarding jibes about inappropriate behaviour for a female solicitor in Thatcher’s 1980s!   Such behaviour continued when raising a family: ‘sharing lifts’ with other children meant everyone going by bike.

I taught many children to ride under Southampton Council’s cycling scheme but realising much more was needed, in 2005 I retrained and qualified to teach the National Standard Cycle Training syllabus (also known as Bikeability) and set up Cyclewise to work as a freelance instructor and campaigner for cycling, giving up my law practice and going fulltime with CycleWise in 2008.

I am a qualified British Cycling Ride Leader and Route Planner and currently Dorset Cyclists Network campaign Coordinator for Blandford and Sturminster.

I was SouthEast England Volunteer of Year in 2009 and runner-up Cycle Campaigner of Year in 2011.
On moving to Dorset in 2013, I initiated the Adult Cycle Training Scheme with Dorset County Council and wearing my Parish Councillor hat in 2017 obtained European funding to open a mile long missing link to North Dorset Trailway for which we received CyclingUK’s Campaign of Year award.