Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

People with learning disabilities form own accessible cycling club

A Bristol-based group of cyclists with learning disabilities and mental health needs have formed their own accessible cycle club after their council-run scheme ended after the summer holidays.

The adults, all service users from social care charity Milestones Trust, went to Bristol City Council’s All Abilities Cycling Sessions in the summer where they rented specialist bikes which were too expensive for them to buy. They enjoyed it so much that, after the scheme ended, they decided to form a new group.

“Now that we had introduced service users to this activity it seemed a shame that these sessions were to end, so we started our own club,” said Mike Rogers, home manager at Vassall Road, a Milestones Trust home.

Now the club has started meeting regularly at St Paul’s Playground and borrowing bikes from Bikeability, a Bristol City Council scheme. The bikes are all specially adapted to suit riders with different physical needs: some have four wheels, one can hold a wheelchair and others have hand rotated pedals.

Some of the members had never ridden bikes before joining the club, while others were keen to start cycling again. “The club is really empowering,” added Rogers. “It gives people who may not be able to ride a regular bike the chance to try cycling.”

Staff from Bikeability, as well as from the Trust, are on hand to help the cyclists during the sessions, which last for around two hours.

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