There are two common myths about cycling:
1) It is only for the strong and fit.
2) A standard two-wheeled bicycle is the only kind of cycle there is.
The UK has been doing what it can to be all-inclusive. The organization, Wheels for Wellbeing, has made it a mission to abolish those myths above. With this new guide showing not only how more disabled people could cycle, but how the cycling industry can help play a role. According to Sustrans, thirty-three percent of disabled people want to cycle. With cycling is easier than walking for three-fourths of disabled cyclists, cycles can be a mobility aid for many disabled riders.
The organization goes by the assumption that people are disabled by society, not by their own limitations. The entitled A Guide to Inclusive Cycling draws out the road map on how anything from design to the use of marketing, and access to different types of cycles can make cycling something that almost anyone can do, regardless of their abilities and disabilities.
Isabelle Clement, director of Wheels for Wellbeing, said, “Our message is that in order for cycling to become truly a default mode of transport for the general population, we need to start by making it accessible to the people the furthest away from cycling.”
Clement has stated that many issues that impact disabled people also impact anyone who uses cargo bikes, like the transport of children or carrying goods for their business. Also, being unable to lift a cycle up a set of stairs, or dismount and push are among the problems people are facing. Non-standard cycles also tend to be heavier, wider, longer and more expensive. That's where inclusive cycling comes in.
Thanks to Wheels for Wellbeing’s first Guide to Inclusive Cycling, Trinity College in Dublin as able to complete a world first back in June. The college even has dedicated cycle parking for a disabled staff member. Wheels for Wellbeing is also helping Sustrans shape the National Cycle Network by providing advice on the removal of barriers on paths. The charity also gives advice on how best to reroute cycle tracks during roadworks, to avoid disadvantaging people on nonstandard cycles with steep cambers or narrow lanes, for example.
Image credit: https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk