What difference does using your cycle as a mobility aid make to your life?
I’d never get so far independently, have as much freedom or exercise, or be in less pain than if I’d walked or used public transport.
I can go shopping, socialise and even help other people by leading them out on cycle rides – so they benefit as well (when I’m up to it).
What challenges, if any, have you encountered when using your cycle as a mobility aid?
I have not had many incidents because I try not to go/ride where I know I’m not supposed to. I know people won’t understand, and they won’t allow you to even have your bike with you.
One incident was a year or two ago, when I was told to leave the Whitgift Centre, in Croydon, with my bike. I was using it to help me walk (needing more support this particular day) and was not riding it. But I had to leave. I pointed out that there were no signs anywhere stating ‘No Bikes’. I just wanted to go into one shop, but needed the support of my bike, finding it extremely difficult and painful to walk.
Stairs are another big problem, as are small gateways along cycle routes. Route NC21 is a prime example: yes, you can get a two wheeler through (I am still able to ride, which makes people believe I have no disability), but trikes cannot get through so sadly miss out on a beautiful, traffic-free route.
If there was one thing that could change to help you to use your cycle as a mobility aid, what would it be?
Changing people’s opinions would be good. But maybe if we had the equivalent of a ‘Blue Badge’ for our bikes – which was recognised worldwide – it would allow us to use our bikes in the way we need to.
Find out more about My Cycle, My Mobility Aid