Try-cycling scheme a big success

Spenborough Sports Complex has got new trikes to encourage people with disabilities to take up cycling. Gemma Taylor and Donald Clarkson give the new cycles a go. (d18051157)
Spenborough Sports Complex has got new trikes to encourage people with disabilities to take up cycling. Gemma Taylor and Donald Clarkson give the new cycles a go. (d18051157)

AN innovative new cycle scheme is off to a flying start helping disabled people keep fit.

The adapted cycle project has been started by Kirklees Council’s Learning and Disabilities Day Opportunities and Kirklees Active Leisure to open up exercise to people of all abilities.

The organisers have acquired five of the special cycles and will run between 15 and 20 classes per week at the Princess Mary running track, in Littletown.

The scheme now boasts two tricyles, two hand cycles and a wheelchair carrying cycle to ensure there is something for all abilities.

Co-ordinator Simon Britton said the project would encourage disabled people to do more exercise.

“In the past we had to use the facilities in Leeds but this means we save on transport and hire costs,” he said.

“The people we work with have tried adapted cycling at another venue and this has proved one of the most popular activities they have taken part in.

“We were asked by the people who access our service if we could set up a cycling scheme closer to home.”

As a result, the team duly went about the work of setting up the programme and the results have been surprising.

More than 150 people turned up at the running track for the official opening of the scheme in May.

The then Mayor Coun Andrew Palfreeman officiated the open ceremony before the first users took to the track on the bikes.

It has already proved popular enough to employ a co-ordinator based at the sports complex.

Adrian Cawthorne from the Day Opportunities service said folk were flocking to use the new bikes.

“The people we’ve been taking to South Leeds Stadium to do this have been queuing up to get involved,” Adrian said.

“A lot of the users cannot use a conventional bicycle so anyone with a disability or mobility problem can pedal with their hands. They’re wonderful machines.

“For instance, if someone feels uneasy about getting on a two-wheeled bike we can use the three-wheeled version to give them extra stability and confidence.”

The scheme is also open to able bodied people who are keen to become more active. The price of each session has deliberately been kept low so as not to discriminate against anyone who wants to get involved.

Adrian added: “The cycles were supplied to us by a specialist company in Holland and if the scheme is successful we will be looking at bringing some more in.”

For more information contact the Spenborough Pool and Sports Complex on 01274 335140.