For some people riding a bike is easier and less painful than walking. For them, a bike can become a mobility aid. But there are still many barriers to cycling for our disabled community. Over 2023 we’ve focused on reducing barriers to cycling for people with disabilities, so that, as Cycling Without Age say, everyone can feel the wind in their hair. We’re also spreading awareness that more than 28% of people in Tāmaki Makaurau don’t drive; whether due to disability, seizures, ADD, medication, or simply because they don’t want to. Bikes can be a crucial transport mode for these communities if there are safe places for them to ride.
With funding from Hoe Ki Angitū (Waka Kotahi Innovation Fund) we held our TryaCycle event series to reduce the barriers to trying a bike. It was a beautiful series, and some people who attended had never ridden a bike before, or hadn’t in the last 30 years. Parents had tears in their eyes as they watched their children riding for the first time! Check out this adorable video of Maddy finding a bike that worked for her!
As part of this project a super awesome volunteer team have audited 50km of cycleways in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland to see if they are accessible for the types of bikes they ride (a mix of reclining cycles, trikes, bikes with trailers and wheelchair bikes). We are collating the results into a report for the relevant agencies – you’ll hear more about this soon!
Thanks to Waka Kotahi for funding this project, and to Kimberly Graham from Grab Your Wheels and our awesome team of volunteers (you know who you are!) for making it happen! A special shout out to the #AdaptMTB for their advice and support.