Deb’s story

“You won’t ever be able to ride your bicycle again, but you should be grateful you can walk!”.

Meet Deb Garbutt. Deb is a living testament to the fact that cycling can help to aid recovery.Since she was a child, Deb had been a keen cyclist. But one day she received some sobering news from her Orthopaedic surgeon (after she had her second knee replaced).He stated:“You won’t ever be able to ride your bicycle again, but you should be grateful you can walk!”That statement threw Deb into a state of depression. She had always ridden a bike, even when it caused her pain. Cycling was an important part of her life. Then Deb came across Wheels for Wellbeing.She started going along to sessions. On her first ride, a kind gentleman agreed to take her around the track on a side-by-side tandem. This allowed Deb to take all the pressure off her legs and just allow them to go through the cycling movements.As weeks went by, Deb took more of an active role at WfW’s cycling sessions, until the time came when she was able to ride a two-wheeler by herself, two years later.Since that day, her life has changed for the better. She started volunteering for WfW, has ridden in a number of different women only rides, including Cycletta (40km) and Breeze rides (31 miles). And she’s even a trained Breeze Champion so she can lead rides of up to eight women by herself.

“If it wasn’t for Wheels for Wellbeing helping me back into cycling, I know I wouldn’t have the same quality of life that I have now.” 

Deb is now an ambassador, representing WFW and giving talks about cycling at community events.She qualified as a cycle instructor in February 2014, and is working at WFW drop-in sessions. She also regularly delivers outreach cycling sessions at special needs schools.