Loving every minute: Meet Rory Osborne

Rory Osborne, from Burley, cycles to work, to the shops and just for the fun of it. We caught up with him to find out more.

Rory Osborne, a Transport Planner from Burley in Leeds, works at Fore Consulting (Hydrock Group) on Whitehall Road in the city centre. He cycles to work, to the shops and just for the fun of it. Rory’s commute includes the new section of cycle track from Kirkstall Road to Wellington Street. The Western Gateway is the latest scheme in a £7.2 million package of walking and cycling improvements in Leeds city centre. It connects with existing routes on the A65, Wellington Street, City Square and beyond, plugging a missing link in the city’s growing cycling network. We caught up with him to find out more.

Rory’s journey into cycling

I learned to ride a bike when I was young and I did a fair bit of cycling with my family, but then I didn’t touch one for awhile. I got back into cycling while studying at Manchester University.  It’s such a quick and cheap way of getting from A to B, so it was ideal as a student. During the pandemic, I started a masters in Transport Planning in Leeds and then I started commuting by bike when I got a job here. Cycling from Burley into our city centre office is just the right length and I can often combine my commute with other trips. I’ve recently bought some panniers so sometimes I go home via Meanwood Valley Farm to pick up fruit and veg as it’s not too far out of my way. It’s great for shorter journeys and it means we only need to use a car for longer trips.

Reaping the rewards of Leeds’ commitment to cycling

The new section of cycle track from Kirkstall Road to Wellington Street has made a massive difference to my journey. There’s lots of traffic and fast-moving vehicles along that stretch and I feel so much more comfortable when I’m segregated from it all and I can just cruise along the cycle lane. I’ve been living in Leeds for about five years now and I grew up not far from here. It’s been great to see the city’s walking and cycling network evolve so much during that time. Leeds is starting to become an example of what a cycling city can look like and that’s very exciting.

A useful tool and a fun hobby

One of the things I really like about cycling to work is being able to knock out some exercise on my commute so I don’t have to think about finding time for it at another point in my day. Cycling to work provides separation, it punctuates the start and end of my day, gives me time to think and helps clears my mind. When I’m cycling on the road I have to be alert, but I can relax when I’m in a cycle lane and that makes my commute more of a leisure activity than anything else. It’s also a great way to explore new places and see things in a different way. You’re moving fast enough to cover lots of ground and because you’re not in a contained space it’s a treat for the senses too – all of the sights, sounds and smells of the places you’re travelling through. 

Getting involved

You don’t need loads of gear.  The best bike for you is the bike you already own. Fixing up your old bike is as good as anything and the good news is there’s lots of help around – from bike shops to places like Leeds Bike Mill and The Bikes College, it’s easy to find support to fix your old bike, get your hands on something second hand and learn how to look after it long into the future.

What are you waiting for? 

From free adult cycle training to route information, find out we help you.

Rory also helps people plan their travel to Wellington Place, which is one of our gold standard Bike Friendly Business.  Wellington Place has also received support from the Combined Authority to be more walking friendly.  Find out how we can make your organisation more cycling and walking friendly.