Welcome to Cycling Otherwise - Its Spring!
What's in a name? - Don't call it Disabled Cycling, call it Cycling Otherwise! After all, cycling is about keeping balance mentally as well as physically. It keeps you fit and make you feel good. Cycling for disabled people is possible and we feel that almost anyone with a disability can get outdoors on some form of bike. Have a look at the How to Get Cycling! section for suggestions of how you might be able to get out into the countryside. There are bicycles, tricycles, handcycles and recumbents to consider. There is always the electric bike option to make a little bit of strength go a long way.
What can we do for you? - The aim of this site is to help your get your hands on the information you need to get cycling and out in the fresh air. We are not vendors of handcycles, trikes or any kind of disabled kit nor do we get commission for promoting any brand, website or organisation. The information contained here is obtained the hard way. We buy stuff, use it to destruction and then write reviews about it. We go places at our own expense, try out routes and then log them for you to share. Don't forget, life it too short to make all your own mistakes. Learn from others who have gone before. As Isaac Newton in 1676 said: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
Role Models? - The recent batch of elite sporting events like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games have highlighted the importance of investment, training and commitment for winning medals. They certainly shown us just what can be achieved by dedicated and enthusiastic folk who have some financial and physical support. However, just because one is not a potential Elite Competitor, it does not mean that one cannot enjoy participating in sport and physical exercise. Even though the Olympic legacy for able-bodied folk usually turns out to be zero let us demonstrate that, with a bit of planning and enterprise, we not-quite able-bodied folk can show how exercise in the outdoors is done. The only difference is that this site is about exercise with wheels on roads and tracks, not on in sports venues.
Enjoyment! - This site is about helping people enjoy the great outdoors on wheels in the Summer Sun. We are not about competition, we are about enjoyment, though that does not mean that we will not nag a bit about the health and well being benefits of getting on your bike! Go cycling, feel smug!
Participate! - We also hope to be a participative site and besides offering you information, hope you will send us routes, news, and stuff of interest to those of us who Cycle Otherwise. See the About Us page. Tell us too about your experience of less than 'accessible' facilities for our Ooops! section.
Opinion Pieces - We like to have a platform on which to air our views and the views of folk who cycle otherwise. For our first offering, there is one question that often crops up, what to wear when cycling or handcycling. Clearly British weather will have a big impact, but there is a debate about whether one should 'have to' wear cycling clothing. Why not use every day clothes? We do both so can claim to have a foot in both camps. However, the current trend for black cycle clothing has led us to wonder if it could have a safety impact. To get some answers we have had a look at the academic research. See the results here: Hi-Vis, Fashion wear and cyclist safety.
Keeping Balance an Issue?
At a time when the world looks to be a desparate place and while suffering from a disabling condition it can be difficult to keep one's chin up. Katherine, wearing her psychologist 'hat', has written a memoir about her attempt to do that and her experiences of 'Keeping Balance'. More details on the Books page.
The National Cycle Museum has a George Longstaff Tandem Trike for sale. These are excellent machines and at £1,000 it is very affordable. Full details are here.
Cycling Otherwise Team Crisis
We are sorry to report that we experienced an accident with Kath's handcycle and she sustained a broken femur. She was swiftly fitted with a half hip replacement (4 cheers for the NHS) but is prohibited from cycling for 12 weeks. The prohibition on car travel of more than 30 minutes has also restricted our horizons. Thus the blog and other materials will not be updated until we have something interesting to report. Of course, if any manufacturer wants us to test their kit to destruction, we are always open to offers.
Update - The car travel prohibition is over and we are getting out an about more. There is an interim blog for you with more expected next month.