Tandems offer cycling experience for disabled

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Chester First)

PEOPLE with disabilities are being given the chance to saddle up for a tandem cycle ride.

Brio Leisure, a subsidiary of Cheshire West and Chester Council, is hosting the events for those unable to ride a bike safely on their own.

The sessions are free and will take place in the safety of the athletics track at Ellesmere Port Sports Village, one of Brio’s centres.

Brio’s chairman designate, Anthony Annakin-Smith, said: “Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit and explore your surroundings freely. By using tandem bikes, cycling is available to those with disabilities, or those unable to safely ride a bike alone.

“As these sessions are being held on the athletics track, they’re in a completely safe environment away from traffic and the pressures of cycling on the open road.”

The organisation is running the scheme with charity Charlotte’s Tandems, supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Mencap, which loans cycles to the disabled. 

Kate and Alex Reeves, whose daughter Charlotte has autism and learning difficulties, established the charity when they discovered how much Charlotte enjoyed joining them on cycle rides.

Alex used to take his daughter on rides using a tag-a-long extension to his bicycle, but when Charlotte grew out of it he discovered a tandem bike was just as successful.

“Charlotte loves it and we thought we’d tell other people about it and encourage them to have a go,” said Alex.

Brian MacDonald, the charity’s organiser for Cheshire, added: “We’re delighted that Brio Leisure are on board to help us get the message out that anyone who lives with a disability or a special need in Cheshire West and Chester has the opportunity to experience the fun of cycling."

The tandem cycles allow two riders, normally a passenger and ‘captain’ who controls the bike.

Bikes are loaned out to those with disabilities for agreed periods from two months upwards.

The free sessions are on Monday, October 26, 7.15-9.15pm, and Sunday, November 22, 10.30-12.30pm, at Ellesmere Port Sports Village on Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port.

Cycle helmets and hi-visibility tabards will be available to use.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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