Not only is Ellis Palmer a Journalist for the BBC World Service and BBC News Hour, he’s also an avid handcycling enthusiast!
As a child I tried riding a trike, but as I got older we didn’t do it much and so my cycling skills ‘lapsed’. I work in London, and so in my taxi I’d see these cyclists along the road and think: “Why can’t I do it?”. Never one to be undeterred, I searched and asked around.
It turned out that the guys who make my wheelchairs also make handcycles, and so I saved up for months and eventually had enough to make an order in January of this year. It cost £3,500 but was well worth it (grants are available, but I didn’t know that at the time).
I decided to come back home when lockdown started and my handcycle arrived at pretty much the same time. It’s given me the freedom to cycle to different places, such as along the trails on the north Wirral coast, through Birkenhead Park, my local green space, and cycling on the urban roads downtown in the Birkenhead area.
Here’s one of Ellis’ Tweets about handcycling (@ellispalmer94)
“As someone living w/ cerebral palsy, I’d never imagined I’d be able to handcycle with my dodgy balance. Prior to lockdown, I’d never cycled before – but the quieter roads gave me the chance to practice on the roads. Many disabled ppl can cycle w/ right support & infrastructure.”
Click here to learn more about Wheels for Wellbeing’s ‘My Cycle, My Mobility Aid’ campaign”