Map Feature




“Freedom to challenge disability through cycling”

Type of organisation

At present a Sole Trader but hope to soon be a CIC.


Silverton, Exeter, Devon.

Freetrike works across the whole of Devon.

Open to groups and/or individuals

Always one to one tuition.

Bike-only hire

Rarely, but I do encourage family members to come along on coaching sessions. I can supply all equipment.


Freetrike is a cycle coaching service for people with disabilities who live in and around Devon. The service uses adapted cycle equipment on a variety of traffic free National Cycle Network paths. It aims to deliver achievable, one to one coaching on your doorstep.

1) First meeting

The first visit usually takes place at your home and lasts up to an hour. During this time, we can discuss your specific abilities and needs. We can look at suitable locations for coaching sessions and the equipment we might use. During the first session there is the opportunity to try an adapted cycle in your own living room.

2) First Journey

Once you are happy with the action plan, we can arrange to meet at your nearest cycle path. In some cases I can provide transport for the client.  Routes are planned based on your ability and comfort. Your carers and family are encouraged to come along and share the experience. I am able to give advice on how to transfer to and from the equipment.

Using GPS technology, I am able to record your journey. We can then look at distance travelled, speed, heart rate and numerous other variables.

3) Progression

 Sessions can progress in a number of chosen directions:

  • Regular coaching sessions leading to increased confidence and ultimately independent cycling.
  • Trips to a variety of stunning paths around Devon that suit your ability.
  • Equipment purchase. I have links with a handful of British manufacturers.
  • Use of different equipment which may include a 2- wheel cycle.
  • Completion of National Standard,  Bikeability Levels 1- 3
  • Cycling to a number of social activities including clubs or educational opportunities.
  • Developing off -road cycling skills at nearby forestry centers.
  • Maintenance training sessions.
  • Respite for carers.


The “first meeting” session is free but I do ask the client to cover my petrol, at the standard cost of 40p per mile from my base in Silverton, north of Exeter.

Sessions following the initial meeting are charged at £40 an hour. Travel time if you require transport to a suitable cycling site is £20 an hour.

Limitations on use


Types of bike

Recumbent Trike, Upright trike, Tandem, Handcycle trike, adapted bicycles.

Booking arrangements / times / charges etc

The idea for Freetrike came after my father’s stroke in 2002. I wanted to give him the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding countryside and to feel active again. It worked for my father and has gone on to work for others.

I have a degree in Health and Social Work. I have worked as a Community Support Worker for Headway Devon, providing care for those with head injuries and neurological disabilities. I have also worked for the UK cyclists’ organisation, the CTC, as a Cycle Development Officer.

I am a DVLA registered National Standard Cycle instructor and a CTC Trail Leader and Advanced Cycle Mechanic.

Year round / seasonal

All year round

Other facilities


Suggested routes

Freetrike uses all of Devon’s off road cycle routes developed by Devon County Council.

Offer advice on suitability of bikes for riders?

Yes, I have links with 2 British trike manufacturers.

Preferential rates for CTC members?

Yes. First meeting is free.

Contact details

Tom Pales



Information updated by provider 1/11/12

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