Barriers to cycling for residents with disabilities have been reduced as Waltham Forest Council introduces monthly All Ability cycling sessions to Waltham Forest.
Residents, students and employees with disabilities or special needs will now be able to experience the thrills of cycling and get on a bike appropriate for their need. The sessions will take place in Lloyd Park every third Thursday of the month, along with sessions in Leytonstone and Chingford during the school holidays.
Following three successful taster sessions held earlier this year the council announced that the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme will fund the free two-hour sessions run by Bikeworks.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Our vision has always been to make cycling more accessible to all, and that includes people with disabilities.
“Working with Bikeworks I’m proud that we’re doing everything we can to support people, no matter their ability to experience the thrill and freedom of cycling.
“Having the opportunity to participate in physical activity like cycling can make a huge difference to our residents’ day to day quality of life.”
At the sessions various bikes are made available including trikes, side-by-side cycles, wheelchair bikes as well as two-wheeled adult bikes.
Walthamstow residents Jean and Ron Burr attended a taster session at the park earlier this year. Jean said: “My husband and I enjoyed the cycling session even though it was raining! Ron uses a wheelchair and unfortunately his physiotherapy has stopped so this seemed like an excellent way for him to get some exercise.
“Bikeworks were very helpful and Ron tried a hand pedal bicycle. He was so happy that he could move around the park himself - he didn't think he would ever ride a bike again, so exercising and having fun at the same time was brilliant.”
Maya Kumagai-Jones, All Ability Project Manager at Bikeworks, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Waltham Forest Council to deliver our All Ability Cycling programme in the borough. We were very pleased with the amount of interest we received during our taster sessions and look forward to engaging with the new community going forward. Please do come along to have a cycle on our adapted bikes, and if you have any questions regarding the sessions you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The next session will be held on Thursday 19 July and will continue on the third Thursday of every month.
There will also be additional sessions held during August: at Langthorne Park, Leytonstone, on Saturday 11 August and in Ridgeway Park, Chingford, on Saturday 25 August. For more information please visit https://www.bikeworks.org.uk/all-ability/