Life Leisure has been chosen to take part in a Bike Buddy programme which means they can provide inclusive cycling sessions for adults of all abilities.
The Bike Buddy programme is a result of a partnership between cycling charity Wheels for All, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the Seashell Trust, which has been set so that disabled people, older adults, and adults with long-term health conditions can get active through cycling.
Life Leisure is one of just three organisations across Greater Manchester to benefit from the partnership and will take delivery of around 10 specialised bikes, including tricycles, recumbents – which place the rider in a laid back position – and hand cycles next month.
Ross McGuigan, Active Communities at Life Leisure, says the bikes will be a fantastic addition to their delivery of community based activities where people can enjoy getting active through cycling.
He said: “These adapted bikes are brilliant, and we can’t wait to get out into the community to encourage people to come out and enjoy them.
“Cycling is beneficial for both your physical and mental health and the adapted bikes through our staff and volunteers will make it as fun and accessible as possible. We look forward to providing inclusive cycling opportunities both indoors and outdoors and gives people the skills and confidence to access parks and open spaces around their community. ”
The bikes have already received the thumbs up from Life Leisure members who take part in Brinnington’s weekly ‘Confidence Walk’ sessions, and who were given a sneak preview of the equipment this week.
Ross said: “Our first trial with the bikes was a huge success, the members thought they were fantastic and can’t wait to have another go! We look forward to being able to deliver sessions to residents and provide accessible outdoor routes from Brinnington Park Leisure Complex.
“We introduced Brinnington Maps to encourage people to get out and about and explore the area more – and now they can do it on two wheels, or three!”
Wheels for All specialises in supporting disabled people to cycle at their inclusive cycling centres across England and Wales, as well as working with many independent cycling programmes to deliver inclusive cycling opportunities.
Caroline Powrie, Wheels for All’s Bike Buddy Coordinator in Greater Manchester, said: “Cycling is a fantastic leisure activity for all ages. It gets people out and about in all kinds of different environments and is brilliant for improving overall fitness, raising levels of activity generally, and boosting your overall mental health and wellbeing. We’re passionate about encouraging all kinds of people in every circumstance, age and ability to get on a cycle and have fun.”
Sessions at Brinnington, supported by the Seashell Trust, are expected to begin in April.