Cycling Ambassador: Paul Baughan, Dollar Health Centre
“I’ve been cycling since I was a kid, and whilst the bikes I ride may have changed, the enjoyment remains the same.
The thing I love about cycling is that it gets me outside into the fresh air and enables me to do something exertional that also helps my health. I am so much more aware of my surroundings when cycling, and notice wildlife such as roe deer, red squirrels, buzzards that I would miss if I was in a car. Over the years I have cycled all over Scotland and in parts of Europe.
I have worked as a GP at Dollar Health Centre for 25 years. Dollar is a beautiful village situated on the slopes of the Ochil hills. Most people attend our Health Centre by car. However, a growing minority are now walking or cycling to their appointment, and I would love to see this increase further. I frequently recommend to patients that they become more active, doing something that they enjoy such as cycling. The health benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise are immense.
We have a small proportion of frail and elderly patients who are unable to leave their home and who require a home visit. We now have access to an electric bicycle from FEL Scotland and so whenever the weather allows, I will do these home visits on this ebike. As it is generally not good form to turn up to a patient’s house more breathless than they are, the ebike is ideal. I can glide up the steep streets in Dollar without getting out of puff, with my medical kit stored in a panier at the side of the bike. Some of my health centre colleagues, who are not regular cyclists, have taken the ebike out during their breaks or at the end of their shifts. They have found it an easy way to get back into cycling again.”