I’ve enjoyed cycling from a very young age. I got my first cycle from my parents when I was 4, but when I was around 7 (due to trauma and surgery) I lost the use of my arm and leg. I really wanted to push myself to start cycling again; I managed it when I was about 12 as my Dad got me a three-wheeled cycle that I could use. But then after more surgery I lost the ability to cycle again. It wasn’t until I was nearly 40 that I returned to cycling on a three-wheeler. I love it – I really hope I don’t lose the ability to cycle again!
The only downside to cycling is all the problems with roads and pavements – so many cycle routes just aren’t suited to three-wheeler bikes, as they aren’t wide enough. I have to keep getting on and off, push my cycle round, cycle more carefully between barriers, or just think more about which route to take; it’s really hard work.
Usually there are steps rather than ramps, which is also hard. The recent changes that the council has made around Brent (where I live) for cycling and walking has actually made it harder – there are lots of bollards, so it’s no longer accessible for three wheels. I have to really think about where I want to go and how to get there to avoid them.
Brent Council really needs to look into access for cycling, especially now that there are more cyclists. The Council needs to understand that not everyone has two wheels, so they shouldn’t focus only on two-wheels. They just haven’t noticed that there are some Disabled people who use trikes – if they’d been more aware, then they would have taken extra measures to make it easier for Disabled cyclists.
I’ve definitely noticed more people going out on bikes in the last year due to COVID and the lockdowns, to get their daily exercise, and I hope that continues. It’s amazing to be able to cycle and it’s great exercise for the whole body, and everyone should have the chance to cycle and enjoy it. If anyone is wondering about whether to start cycling, I always encourage them to have a go.
It’s such a wonderful feeling, to be on a bike! I get so much enjoyment from it; it fulfills all of my needs, it means I can go and visit more places; it makes me happier, more energetic, and more joyful!