Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Double amputee doctor says if she can cycle to work anyone can

Dr Jane Atkinson urged people to ditch their cars and jump on their bikes in the morning

A doctor who had both her feet amputated as a child and 'hadn't touched a bike in 30 years' has said that if she can cycle to work, anyone can. 

Dr Jane Atkinson said the journey 'woke her up' in the morning and as a result she had more energy while treating patients. 

Dr Atkinson is an Acute Medical Consultant at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

She told ITV Tyne Tees she was born with malformed feet and at 13-months had both amputated. 

Her commute is a 12-mile round trip which she admits does take a bit longer on her bike than in the car.

She said: "I didn't touch a bike for about 30 years, I didn't like that my bike was different from everyone else's and then about a year ago one of my brother's neighbours had a trike, I had a go and that was that. The freedom it brought was fantastic and I instantly loved it.

"Instead of picking up my car keys, I get on my bike and that's my journey to work now. It does take longer to cycle than drive, however, as I've been awake and up and about for longer, by the time I hit the wards, I have loads more energy and I am much more awake."

She added: "If I can do this then I don't see why others can't. It doesn't have to be an everyday thing, simply choosing one day of the week to leave the car at home will not only make you feel fitter, physically and mentally, but you are also doing your bit for the environment."

Dr Atkinson is part of Northumberland County Council's 'The Big Northumberland Gear Change' campaign which is encouraging all residents to try and leave their car at home and get out and explore the local area on foot or by bike..

Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for local services said: "Jane's story is incredible and shows the power one simple swap can make to your day-to-day life. We have such a beautiful county that can be explored by foot or if you do enjoy cycling there are some fantastic routes on your doorstep. 

"We aren't asking people to completely ditch their cars, it's about small changes that may one day become more long-lasting. Things like walking to a local shop rather than taking the car can make a massive difference to your health and the environment."

Add new comment


the_broken_cyclist | 2 years ago

Everyone ? my cardiologist expressly told me not to, infat due to the fact that i had a perpencity to make heart work hard going up them his, he suggested i change sports.

Sold all the whizz mang cycling stuff, got an electric mini which is more style than subatance and i miss being on a bike. 

No not every should do it, some of us really blloming well miss it, my mental health has taken a hit and i regret selling it all but hey, low impulse control becaue of brain damage makes life eventuful 

Rendel Harris replied to the_broken_cyclist | 2 years ago

Very sorry to hear this - do I read you correctly that it was suggested you quit cycling because you tended to overwork? In that case, couldn't you simply use an HRM with a head unit set to give heartrate warnings to keep you in the safe zone? If heart problems mean you can't go at a reasonable pace without over-exerting your heart, an electric bike would give you many of the benefits of cycling without the heart risk.

Hope you can find a solution to get back on two wheels some time, I hate to think what it would do to my health, both mental and physical, if I had to stop.

brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
Rendel Harris wrote:

... couldn't you simply use an HRM with a head unit set to give heartrate warnings to keep you in the safe zone?

Like Bruce Banner's health monitor in the Edward Norton Hulk film.  He has to keep his heart rate low or else he goes green.  Would that work for the broken cyclist?

OldRidgeback | 2 years ago

Inspirational - it's as simple as that

Latest Comments