Sustainable UCL


Meet our next Bike Buddy: Helen Stark

17 August 2020

Our new Bike Buddy scheme aims to help staff cycle to UCL. We team experienced cyclists with staff who are new to cycling or would like some additional support in getting to and from UCL. Bike Buddies can assist with knowledge on local routes, and can take people into campus.

Woman holding bike in the air

What do you do at UCL?

I am Research Impact Manager for two faculties – Arts and Humanities and Social and Historical Sciences. I assist researchers of all career stages in developing impact from their research and do strategic work to build skills and capacity.

What made you want to be a Bike Buddy?

I think cycling is great and I want to help other people enjoy it as much as I do! It’s often quicker to get somewhere in London by bike than it is on public transport and I don’t think many people realise that. But cycling in London can be very intimidating and there’s a real barrier there – one way to overcome that is to support less experienced cyclists.

What’s your route?

I take a Quietway (Q2) from Bethnal Green and then pick up the C6 cycleway briefly. It is between 3 and 4 miles and mostly fairly quiet apart from other cyclists although I deliberately leave before 8 (in normal, non-pandemic, times) to avoid traffic.

What’s your favourite thing about cycling?

Cycling makes me feel independent because it means I don’t have to rely on buses or the tube to get around. I’ve only been living in London for 4 years and it has really helped me get to know my way around the city. I’ve always cycled but have been much more serious about it since I did the Coast to Coast about 5 years ago and started doing triathlons.

Do you have any top tips for cycling?

When cycling to work, always keep a change of clothes in your desk drawer, especially dry socks!