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Cycling Disabled - one setup in use today

Road.cc cover inclusive cycling quite well. I've just dropped a short comment about one actual setup used by my friend @tandemkate (twitter) into a general political forum, so I thought I'd post it here, too. Kate has been on both the podcast here, and NMOTD, in her capacity as an officer for Wheels for Wellbeing, and her experiece of meeting a taxi head on on her side of the road.

My photo for the day (below) is my friend @tandemkate's (twitter) travel arrangements.

This is an e-Brompton towing an active wheelchair. Kate is privileged and a professional, so can afford cost of this setup of £2.5k+, even using a second hand Brompton - and also has other cycles and aids for other requirements, a car etc. Plus she is a campaigns officer for a national disabled charity, and does not embarrass easily.

An active wheelchair is one using crossover tech developed for competition wheelchairs, which weigh 6kg to 15kg, rather than 20-30kg for a normal wheelchair, and cost £500 to £15,000 depending on how exotic it is. There is a stick in the front bag.

A business day in London for Kate might be cycle like this to Derby Station, train to St Pancras, cycle to say Wandsworth or Blackheath, use the wheelchair on the premises. Then reverse the journey after meetings etc.

Enforcement officers of all kinds often seem to think they are Jesus. It is a constant experience of disabled people using cycles of whatever type as their mobility aid to be told to "pick up your mobility aid and walk". Here's one from from St Pancras Station:
https://x.com/tandemkate/status/1668649068002697220

St Pancras staff are normally good, and deserve praise, as here - plus some coping strategies and 'lived experience'
.https://x.com/tandemkate/status/1656322127241396225

A fascinating thing for me is the ingrained and observable-in-practice attitude, even when denied, that disabled people are a sort of afflicted "them" who "we" can choose to help - rather than part of "us". In reality the change from "able bodied" to "disabled" happens at random in the blink of an eye, as simply as a dozy driver going through a red light when you crossing the road.

I have diabetes Type I because a stomach bug killed my pancreas when I was happily living in South Hampstead in my 30s. A week's illness, an ambulance, and wake up to find I am on insulin forever.

We need to make our society inclusive, rather than treat disabled people as exception cases; that has been in our laws for 30 years, but there remains much to do. 

 

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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chrisonabike | 1 month ago
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Not seen this one before!  I've seen at least one Brompton / folder with crutches / stick attached to the frame (I think someone this parish has that system).  In one case it took me a while - cycling behind them - to realise they only had one leg.

That gives you the ability to fold up and stow / possibly be multi-modal (bus driver / train company permitting).

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mattw replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
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Yes - there's a para in the post about multimodal. Kate goes from home in Derby to eg Blackheath using the setup.

"A business day in London for Kate might be cycle like this to Derby Station, train to St Pancras, cycle to say Wandsworth or Blackheath, use the wheelchair on the premises. Then reverse the journey after meetings etc."

TBF since she's a Campaigns Officer for Wheels for Wellbeing, there's also a strand of flouting expected convention and undermining stereotypes involved, and demonstrating what is possible. Kate was the one who persuaded Wandsworth to put the "Cyclists Dismount unless Mobility Aid" signs on the Wandsworth Bridge works.

I'm planning to put that journey into Dave Walker's Diagram Club * as a suggestion for his current Active Travel project. It is a fairly routine type of journey in NL but here we need to chip away stereotypes to broaden the popular mind.

(*) Diagram Club is Dave Walker's support and ideas group. We donate ~£25 per annum in support, and get use of several hundred of his cartoons for our workshops, social media etc, and to be in the "ideas for diagrams" forum.
https://davewalker.com/introducing-diagram-club/

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mattw | 1 month ago
3 likes

Piccie.

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