Beyond the Bicycle Conference

Here's the second of our two posts about Wheels for Wellbeing, a locally based nationally recognised cycling group.

Beyond the Bicycle Conference
Brixton-based Wheels for Wellbeing held their first Beyond the Bicycle Conference in November. This brought together campaigners, local authorities, disabled people’s organisations, journalists and transport and health professionals to discuss the future of inclusive cycling. Speakers included representatives from the Department of Transport, Transport for London, Disability Rights UK, Public Health England, Transport for All and disabled cyclists from around the UK.

Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, opened the event by sharing his memories of discovering the joy of cycling as a teenager thanks to an NHS handcycle - and the freedom, speed and independence that went with it. Sadly the NHS no longer provides hand cycles for wheelchairs users, although there is a new recognition from health organisations of the importance of helping everybody become more active and independent.

Arguments referring to 'the needs of disabled people' are sometimes used to oppose good cycling infrastructure, so it was very useful for representatives from Transport for London and Department for Transport to hear direct from disabled people highlighting the rights of everyone to be active, promoting the importance of cycles as mobility aids, and underlining that cycling infrastructure needs to be inclusive and suitable for all.
Picture from Wheels for Wellbeing.

In its 10 years of operating Wheels for Wellbeing has helped more than 6000 disabled people learn to or practice cycling, some of whom never believed that could be for them. With sessions five times a week at safe off-road venues such as parks, community centres and the Herne Hill velodrome, disabled staff, trustees, volunteers and participants are proving that everybody can cycle given the right equipment and environment. However, it's a different story on the roads where the infrastructure is simply not accessible for many, because of fears of traffic or barriers, unfriendly kerbs, steps or sections which are impassable if you can't carry your bike or get off and walk.

The role of Wheels for Wellbeing has grown beyond grassroots direct support. To effect change on a larger scale, and to enable people to cycle wherever they want or need to, the organisation is becoming a respected national voice of disabled people calling for excellent cycling infrastructure. The charity has joined with other groups who face similar challenges for example cargo cycles, families and other non-standard cycles to form the 'Beyond the Bicycle Coalition'.

At the conference Wheels for Wellbeing launched its new Guide to Inclusive Cycling as an summary of essential aspects to be considered when designing for cycling: building inclusive infrastructure, designing inclusive facilities and recognising disabled people as cyclists - to help planners and decision-makers understand the issues from the point of view of disabled people. This is a working document so all feedback is welcome.


If you'd like to find out more, or can help with campaigning or fundraising to help more disabled people of all ages discover the love of cycling, visit WfW's website or find them on Twitter @wfwnews.
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First campaign meeting of 2018 - 16 January

Lambeth Cyclists' first meeting of the year takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16 January.

Our meetings are always friendly, informal and open to all.

Various cycling issues are discussed at our regular meetings, typically:

  • Cycle projects
  • Specific routes in Lambeth that need to be improved
  • Other issues to be raised with either Lambeth Council or the GLA
  • News and updates from various cycling projects we may be involved with
  • Organising rides and social events.
We meet at the Stockwell Centre, 1 Studley Road, Stockwell, SW4 6RA. This is just behind Stockwell tube station and there is plenty of secure cycle parking in the Centre's forecourt.
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Happy 10th Birthday to Wheels for Wellbeing


You may have read about Wheels for Wellbeing in today's feature on The Guardian website about why some disabled people cycle. Here's the first of two posts about this locally based nationally recognised cycling group.

Happy 10th Birthday to Wheels for Wellbeing

Brixton-based Wheels for Wellbeing has been celebrating 10 years of helping disabled people to stay active.

The charity runs inclusive cycling sessions five days a week at venues in South London with its unique fleet of trikes, wheelchair attachments, tandems, handcycles, and specially adapted cycles. Participants and supporters enjoyed a week of parties.

This was followed by Wheels for Wellbeing's first 'Beyond the Bicycle' conference exploring how cycling can continue to transform the lives of disabled participants, and how disabled cyclists can now help transform cycling for all.
Picture from Wheels for Wellbeing.

The driving force for the creation of Wheels for Wellbeing was the frustrations of the everyday experience of disabled people in Lambeth, together with a pioneering team who wanted to spread the benefits of cycling for all.

“We have built an amazing community and we decided to stop and celebrate,” said Isabelle Clement, Wheels for Wellbeing’s Director. “We are so proud of what we have achieved over the last 10 years – not only working directly with 6,000 disabled people to help them access all the benefits of cycling in South London, but also becoming the recognised voice of disabled cyclists nationally. The celebrations were also a way to thank our many volunteers.”

If you'd like to find out more, or can help with campaigning or fundraising to help more disabled people of all ages discover the love of cycling, visit WfW's website or find them on Twitter @wfwnews.
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