The Cycling for All network aims to provide more cycling opportunities for people in London with disabilities and health conditions. The network’s Community Reach Out project was set up to help people who experience barriers to cycling, and is aimed at those who do not regularly participate in physical activity or sport. It gives people the opportunity to experience different forms of mainstream and adapted bikes, trikes, tandems and recumbents.
The project aims to increase the number of disabled and older Londoners who cycle regularly, as well as enhancing the profile and inclusion of disabled cyclists, and allowing them to experience some of the enjoyment and health benefits of cycling. Cycling sessions take place at locations around London, providing a convenient, welcoming and safe environment for those who need adapted bikes because of physical or mental health issues.
The funding from Cycling Grants London has allowed the project to focus on reaching new groups in the community, and making sessions more accessible. Sessions were previously restricted to two locations, as the group had no means to transport its specialist bikes. This created a barrier to many participants, who were unable to get to the sessions without pre-arranged transport. The group now has a vehicle to transport the bikes to different locations, including schools, colleges and local parks. This opened up the sessions to many more participants.
The project’s coaches have years of experience working with those who have health requirements, such as neurological conditions, learning disabilities, balance issues, limb amputations, autism and mental health issues. The project also provides other inclusive cycling sessions, such as women-only sessions, run by a female coach.
The project has so far reached out to a wide range of community groups, schools and individuals. It recently provided sessions for Barking Riverside Ltd., a development company who were looking to make cycling an integral part of the new community they were creating. The development has a Special Educational Needs school on site and a large proportion of the residents are on a low income. Cycling for All transported a selection of adapted trikes and two-wheeled bikes to the estate, and provided weekly sessions and led rides for residents.