Tricycling for the disabled
David Davies wrote an article in the CTC magazine (Cycle Touring and Campaigning October-November 1995) entitled “Cycling and Disability”. The opening paragraphs are particularly positive and encouraging:
“Bicycle (cycle) ownership in Britain is estimated to be around 20 million with the key reasons for people buying and using bikes linked to health and the environment. Increasingly cycling is becoming a major leisure activity and being seen as the non-polluting way to get close to nature and enjoy the countryside.
People with disabilities have often been excluded from mobility and access opportunities. Certainly, our public transport system has some way to go before it is even close to being accessible to everyone. With cycling for people with disabilities becoming one of the fastest-growing areas of interest in the cycling world, it is likely that cycling with its versatile simplicity and low running costs will succeed in providing access where other forms of transport have failed. Small-scale manufacturers are combining innovation with positive attitude and designing cycles that meet abilities. This means that people who do not fit the size and shape of a “conventional” bicycle or who have balance or co-ordination difficulties are not excluded from cycling. To the surprise of many, it is possible for people with severe physical disabilities or learning difficulties to take part in cycling”.
Does the TA cater for people with a disability?
Not specifically, although some of our members do have disabilities – one of them recently rode around Australia! We welcome all cyclists who are interested in riding tricycles.
As a person with a disability, would a tricycle help me with mobility?
Riders with a wide range of disabilities and difficulties have found that a tricycle has given them greatly increased mobility and independence.
Tricycles are of particular use to people with balance problems, but please note that some people do find them difficult to master, especially if they have ridden bicycles in the past. It really is best to try and fnd one to “have a go” before buying.
Often an ‘open frame’ (step through) design is useful for mounting and dismounting, rather than the conventional ‘diamond’ design (with a cross bar).
Sometimes a recumbent machine is a practical alternative.
It is useful to think about ‘power to weight ratio’ because a lightweight machine is a lot easier to propel. This is all part of the question of use “what for” “how often” and “how far”
Where can I find a trike for me?
All riders of all types of machine (bikes and trikes) have their own particular likes, requirements and needs. Members of the Tricycle Association are able to buy and sell machines through the “Gazette”, but in the main these are lightweight machines.
Trikes are advertised in the National Cycling Press – Cycling Weekly, CTC’s “Cycle”, etc.
Utility trikes may be found for sale in the Classified Ads of local Newspapers. But sometimes we find that when you set out to look for one, there aren’t any advertised for sale! However, they do come up from time to time.
These contacts may be of help:
For childrens, disabled/special needs, folding and utility trikes try
Parker Product Developments Ltd
Laburnum Cottage, Bramwith Lane, South Bramwith, Doncaster DN7 5SJ Tel: 01302 842671 Fax 01302 844070
Child and adult tricycles with special adaptations Tel: 0141 8769177
Leicester Spokes Fest Event, which includes special needs cycling day Tel: 0116 2781360 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org