Melvyn Ollerenshaw’s story
In November 2017 Melvyn had 2 strokes, one after another. He was taken to Hallamshire hospital where they ‘smashed up his blood clots’. Melvyn says he is lucky. After the strokes he had very little use of his left side, and arm. He couldn’t walk very well and was tired very easily.
Sometime in 2018 his wife was watching Look North, and saw Sheffield Cycling 4 All were on. She then searched online to find us (thank you Look North!).
Melvyn hasn’t cycled since he was 10-11 years old. Back then he would go everywhere on his bike, even cycling from Sheffield to Doncaster to see the trains.
“I used to make good use of it”, he says. Then, ‘since the invention of the motor car’ he never really bothered with cycling and says,
“I never thought about joining a club, but I am in one now”, although being in a club isn’t important to Melvyn, he comes to improve his fitness.
He has been cycling with Sheffield Cycling 4 All for about a year and a half now. When he first started, he would cycle around the basketball pitch (about 400m). Within a couple of months, he was cycling around the whole park, hills and all. Now Melvyn is doing 7 laps of the park in 2 hours! He is a machine!
Melvyn says he is invigorated by cycling,
“I’m just so pleased that I can cycle, I am getting better and better.”
Melvyn tries to come to Sheffield Cycling 4 All once a week (and to our Saturday session when he can), as well as going to the gym twice a week. In July 2019, Melvyn took part in the HSBC UK City Ride Sheffield. Starting at Endcliffe Park, the route takes you through to the city centre on traffic free roads. He loved it, saying,
“It was a great achievement.”
Melvyn is cycling easily now. He said that he started using 1st or 2nd gears only but is now using 3rd and 4th gears to get around. Melvyn feels engaged with the Sheffield Cycling 4 All community, but says that he is a quiet, anti-social type. Despite this, he is a favourite among our volunteers. Melvyn hasn’t asked, but our volunteer’s take it in turns to get a bike over to his car, so that he doesn’t have as far to walk. They know which bike he has (Van Raam Easy rider), where his seat needs to go, and which pedal to swap to a more supportive one.
When Melvyn is asked if he feels more confident and better about himself since starting cycling with us, he replies,
After the strokes Melvyn had to get used to his body again which was hard, it moved and acted differently than it did before, and the changes were sudden. Melvyn is learning to enjoy the challenges and achievements his body is giving him. He is proud of increasing the gears on the bike and the HSBC ride, and is looking forward to his next challenge of swimming.
Sadly Mel passed away in November 2022. So glad we got to meet you.
If you are interested in our sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tom on 0792 2183 338.