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Gallery: Disability and cycling

Disability and cycling are often talked about as though they are mutually exclusive groups, competing for public space, and that interaction between them is a problem.

We know that some frail or disabled people feel apprehensive about sharing space with cyclists. Equally however we know of a great many disabled people for whom cycling provides mobility that they could not otherwise enjoy.

You are, after all, only disabled if your condition cannot be addressed in a way that it ceases to have a negative impact on your life. I wear glasses to correct pretty terrible eyesight. Without them I would struggle in life, but nobody would ever consider me disabled because the condition (short sightedness) is so easily addressed. For many people, a bike is like a pair of glasses â?? an indispensable life aid that turns a potentially life ruining condition into a minor irritation.

Whether it is providing basic mobility, better health, or improved quality of life, cycling can provide great benefits to many people with disabilities.

These are some of their stories. Most are inspiring, a couple rather disturbing in the way they expose the uncaring and intolerant attitudes of some parts of our society.

Do you have a story top tell ? Could your experiences help others ? Send them to me at a.massie@hannahreed.co.uk

This gallery was created on Wednesday, 10th October 2007

I currently cycle and swim (another good exercise for amputees because of the extra buoyancy you get in water) every day and cycle about 4,000 miles per year (if I'm working). As I'm between jobs at the moment, I'm cycling more than 100 mi ... [more]

I belong to a disabled rambling group based in Fife - Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers- www.ftdr.com We do not really encounter problems with cyclists when out rambling. As well as mobility scooters, we have 2 adapted, powered trikes fo ... [more]

Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers- www.ftdr.com

Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers- www.ftdr.com

Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers- www.ftdr.com

Steve Sparrow in Lancaster here. In 1996 I had a serious motorcycle accident (Coma for 7 days) and am disabled as a result. It's not always a totally obvious disability as the only thing that shows from a distance is the walking isn't go ... [more]

I'm a registered partially sighted recumbent trike rider. I don't drive and cycling is my primary form of transport. I have poor general eyesight and my main difficulty is lack of peripheral vision particularly below the horizontal. I ... [more]

I have been disabled since 2001 with a "Flat Back" condition which prevents me from walking or standing for than 2 minutes. However, the real killer for me is I can't sit for more than 30 minutes without raising my left leg. My Doctors su ... [more]

This is my wife Dorothy with her folding bike and trailer. She has recently developed osteo-arthritis in her hip. This makes walking more than short distances very painful and slow so cycling is a great way to allow her to still get aroun ... [more]

I am a stroke survivor of some 8 years. I had my stroke when I was 54. It has affected my left side and has rendered me unable to ride a two wheeled cycle. Thankfully I have made a pretty good recovery from my stroke. I have been left wi ... [more]

Not to overlook the need for people with disabilities to socialise with their able bodied friends / family who are cycling / walking. Dave Stevens, Sustrans

Not to overlook the need for people with disabilities to socialise with their able bodied friends / family who are cycling / walking. Dave Stevens, Sustrans

Last year I got my bike and have been taking photo's of my trips. These are currently in slide shows and at www.ken.derbycounty.co.uk The biggest problem I face is kissing gates, as a wheelchair bike is both wide and long. Ken

I thought I would share what I just learned about a handicapped cycling program in my backyard...Berkeley, California, USA. http://www.borp.org They operate a handicapped cycling program from a barn adjacent to the San Francisco Bay T ... [more]

I thought I would share what I just learned about a handicapped cycling program in my backyard...Berkeley, California, USA. http://www.borp.org

I thought I would share what I just learned about a handicapped cycling program in my backyard...Berkeley, California, USA. http://www.borp.org

A photo I took last week in Oldenburg, Germany, where I saw elderly people and wheel chair users taking advantage of a road converted into a Fahrradstrasse, showing that infrastructure good for cyclists can benefit the less advantaged road ... [more]

The separate network for cyclists in the Netherlands is heavily used by disabled people using a range of vehicles, from battery powered buggies to wheelchairs converted into quasi-tricycles. Steve Melia

I'm a disabled cyclist from Swindon having lost an arm and having multiple injuries in a road crash back in the 70's. I cycle about 200 miles a week on my road bike and mountain bike, used to race with Swindon Road Club for 20 years, but n ... [more]

This picture was titled 'Dutch Wheelchair'. I like the purpose built clip for the walking stick, and he is on a shared surface. Mark Fell

Prior to being a full time wheelchair user I was an avid cyclist, holidaying and cycling in France just bliss. (Just 5 years ago part of my work for the National Trust involved annual inspections of lead on two church roofs in South Derby ... [more]

I love the freedom the Trike gives me and the fact that I can not only join in with my friends but beat them without even trying. Daniel Reed As a parent of a child with Cerebral Palsy it is very difficult finding something that gives ... [more]

Uwaba Ngo from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

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