Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club Leader Charlie Coates

Charlie Coates (centre) takes a group on the marshes
Charlie Coates is working really hard as a Bike Club Leader at Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club for disabled riders.

The Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club meets every week at Stonebridge Lock at Lee Valley where they have a storage container for their bikes. They have a great selection of adapted bikes that members can borrow for a lovely relaxing ride along the leafy park paths.

However, as well as the excellent facilities and equipment, one of their most important resources is Bike Club Leader Charlie Coates, who is making a tremendous contribution to the running of the LVCA Bike Club.

Charlie is 20 years old and has cerebral palsy with RHS hemiplegia. He is keen to encourage and support people with disabilities to get more active and cycle with the club.

I love riding the kart and really look forward to my weekly sessions where I can do something constructive for disabled people.

Charlie Coates, Bike Club Leader

Already well qualified, with a level one sports coach, first aid certificates and CRB, he has rapidly worked his way through the LVCA Bike Club training modules for volunteers, such as:

  • Local area and club background induction.
  • Set-up adjustment and safety checks for the KMXKart recumbent trikes.
  • Bike build from box.
  • Local area routes from Stonebridge Lock to Pickets Lock and back.

"This is particularly good for the club since Charlie’s previous training means that he will soon be in a position to not just support but run sessions at the Bike Club as a volunteer without the need of further supervision. This is a big step towards the on-going sustainability of the Bike Club, a major success criteria," Bike Club Leader, Tony Harvey says.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Charlie has applied to attend the British Cycling Level Two Coaching Award and has added his name to the waiting list for a course to be booked locally before the end of the year.

Lee Valley Cycle Ability were awarded a £2,000 Bike Club grant to help run sessions to up-skill volunteers and members to deliver sessions. Charlie is someone that has directly benefited from the grant. It was also used to purchase some conventional bikes to allow carers, family members and friends to ride along with disabled people using adapted cycles. The conventional bikes can also be used by those with disabilities who do not require an adapted bike.

With thanks to Charlie Coates and Tony Harvey, Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club Leaders. For more information about Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club please contact: Tony Harvey tony@tonyharveytraining.com.