The benefits and fun of cycling for people with disabilities were highlighted at Kingsway Sports Centre in Rochdale this weekend with the ‘Ride Rochdale’ accessible cycling day.
The event was busy all day and everyone got the opportunity to get on a bike, with three wheelers, bikes that accommodate wheelchair users, arm powered bikes and tandems available. Family and friends came along too, accompanying the rides on two wheels.
After getting used to the bikes inside the sports hall, riders ventured out into the sunshine for a series of laps around the racetrack!
Middleton’s double Olympic gold medal-winning and World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE called in to support the event, meeting participants and trying out various bikes for herself. Joanna, one of the best British track racers of her generation joined in, enjoying a lap around the track on a three wheeled bike.
Joanna said events like this are growing in popularity and bring everyone together:
“I was very impressed with the variety of bikes and the number of people who came down to give it a go. It’s an activity that brings everybody together to share the thrill and challenges of the sport.”
Graeme Hill from Link4Life said it was a brilliant day:
“We were kept busy and the weather was kind to us. For people with disabilities cycling offers exercise, fun, mobility and independence. There are a huge variety of cycles and adaptations and today we’ve given people a chance to try them out. It was great to have Joanna’s support and days like this go a long way to tackling barriers to participation and changing perceptions in sport.”
National organisation Cycling Projects with Link4Life Rochdale Wheels for All provided a broad range of accessible bikes for the event, and Ride Rochdale was supported by Rochdale Borough Council.