The Inclusive Cycling Experience launches

A group of adults in a park on a variety of non-standard cycles, tandems, e-assist cycles, handcycles and tricycles
Cycling UK's Inclusive Cycling Experience launched last week in Greater Manchester and Inverness

Last week, the Inclusive Cycling Experience rolled into Greater Manchester and Inverness, offering tryouts of tandems, tricycles, four-wheelers, recumbent cycles, and e-assist cycles perfect for folks with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Thanks to the Motability Foundation, this project is pumping up the pedals with free loans and confidence-building try-out sessions, ensuring cycling is a ride everyone can hop on. From funders to local government reps to cycling enthusiasts, everyone gathered to spin the wheels and spread the joy of inclusive cycling.

Cycling isn't just a spoke in the wheel; it's a lifeline for the 16 million people in the UK with disabilities

A woman smiles at the camera seated on a three-wheel hand cycle
Dr Kay Inckle

Independence, exercise and mental health benefit of cycling

Dr Kay Inckle of Wheels for Wellbeing said:

“Disabled people face so many obstacles: In getting around, most places don’t have reliable public transport. There is low car ownership, and disabled people face health inequality.

“Wheelchair users’ access opportunities for physical exercise is severely diminished. For example, an exercise quality wheelchair costs several thousand pounds.

Cycling combines exercise and transport. You can go independently, and not depend on others, go where you want and when you want. And there is a massive mental health benefit that comes from being active, having access to nature and green spaces.

“People are often surprised by what they can cycle, so it’s crucial to try out different options. Disabled people can ride a standard bike with adaptations before making a commitment.”

Two access trikes sitting in the foreground in a park in Manchester with Cycling UK staff and members of the public standing behind them talking ©2024 iD8 Photography

Seeing the diversity of cycling

In Greater Manchester the fleet of cycles will be held at Manchester Bike Kitchen in Hyde.

Director of Manchester Bike Kitchen, Andy Hilton, said:

“People often come in and ask about tricycles. Lots of people who come to us have family members who are disabled and would like to cycle, so we know the demand is there. As soon as the Inclusive Cycling Experience idea was put to us we were keen to get involved."

Greater Manchester’s Bicycle Mayor Belinda Everett was among the participants giving the cycles a test ride. She said:

"The inclusive cycling experience is a step forward forward for us as it’s helping to make riding accessible for everyone in the local community.

"It's putting the bikes in spaces where disabled people can access them and where the whole community can see a diversity of cycles in everyday use.

"It’s important that people who ride standard two-wheelers see the diversity and the variety of cycles. This project helps every kind of cycle and way of cycling be seen as normal in Manchester."

The Inclusive Cycling Experience

Cycling UK’s exciting new programme, the Inclusive Cycling Experience, is funded by the Motability Foundation; it will support disabled communities in Greater Manchester and Inverness to start cycling.

The scheme offers free try-out sessions and non-standard cycle loans to enable people to consider cycling as an active travel option for everyday journeys.