A KEY worker from Musselburgh is enjoying a new-found love of cycling during the Covid-19 crisis.

Lidia Josvai, 59, a support worker, is getting to work using pedal power thanks to an offer from Play Together on Pedals – a cycling programme for children and families which expanded from Edinburgh to East Lothian last month.

When coronavirus hit, the group could not run any of its normal rides, drop in sessions or family workshops, so it considered other ways to help people during the lockdown.

Along with another Cycling UK project, Edinburgh All Ability Bike Centre, they made all their adult bikes available to key workers to get to and from work without having to use public transport.

Lidia, who had not cycled in years, borrowed one of the electric bikes on offer and loves using it so much she has named it Peggy, after Pegasus, the mythical winged horse.

Previously, she took the bus for the three-mile journey from her home to work at the Thistle Foundation in Craigmillar, Edinburgh – a health and wellbeing charity that supports people living with long-term conditions.

Now she is enjoying the fresh air, birdsong and scenery on her half hour journey by bike. When she’s not at work, Lidia has also been exploring new areas of Musselburgh since moving there three years ago.

She said: “I need exercise to help with back pain but I used to just come home from work and watch TV – I didn’t feel like doing any exercise. Now I can’t wait to get on the bike and explore. I love riding on the promenade as it doesn’t feel like exercise - it’s just fun.”

The last time Lidia cycled was in Budapest with her children.

She added: “That was 10 years ago and they are now adults. Riding Peggy has given me my confidence back. She has changed my life.”

Cycling UK’s Angie Kinghorn, who runs Play Together on Pedals in Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, said: “We’re delighted that our bikes are being put to good use by local key workers like Lidia. It’s fantastic to hear that she’s really enjoying cycling and that it has boosted her confidence.

“Many people are using cycling as a safe way to get from A to B during the lockdown, while others are finding it’s a real boost to their health and wellbeing. When it’s safe to do so we look forward to bringing our family cycling project to East Lothian, but, in the meantime, we can’t think of a better use for the bikes.”

Play Together on Pedals, funded by Transport Scotland, is a partnership between Cycling UK, Cycling Scotland and Play Scotland.