Counting On …

Wednesday 10th November 2021

“Bike is best!” Whether you are young or old or somewhere in between.  Whether you are able bodied  or disabled. Whether you are super fit or just starting out. Whether it’s simply  for leisure or for  getting from A to B. Whether it is for deliveries or commuting or the school ‘run’.  

Active travel reduces carbon emissions, improves air quality and aids healthy living. What’s not to like?

And what is included in active travel? – walking, wheeling and cycling. The following extract comes from Wheels of Wellbeing, a charity  that promotes cycling for people with disabilities.

Walking:  foot/pedestrian-based mobility that may incorporate the support of aids to mobility such  as stick/s, cane/s, crutch/es, the arm of another person and/or assistance animal/s.

Wheeling: an equivalent alternative to foot/pedestrian-based mobility. Includes wheeled mobilities such as manual self- or assistant-propelled wheelchairs, including wheelchairs with power attachments or all-terrain attachments (such as the “Freewheel”), powered wheelchairs, mobility scooters (three and four-wheeled) and rollators. Some people rely on their cycle to move (at a pedestrian’s pace) through pedestrianised environments when it is not physically possible to walk/push their cycle. Some people use their cycle as a walking aid, by leaning on it (do not use crutches but need to lean in order to walk, due to pain etc. – they can dismount but cannot park their cycle). Some people use e-scooters (with or without a seat), to wheel/scoot through pedestrianised environment if they cannot walk unaided.

We recommend never using ‘walking’ on its own (as it likely reinforces ableist stereotypes in people’s minds) but always using ‘walking/wheeling’ together. Both words represent the action of moving at a pedestrian’s pace, whether or not someone is standing or sitting, walking/wheeling unaided or using any kind of aid to mobility, including walking aids / wheeled aids, personal assistants or support animals.

Cycling:  incorporates the action of moving at speed on a wide range of pedal- powered wheeled transport that may be powered with hands and/or feet, may transport one or more person, may or may not include e-assist and usually have between 2 and 4 wheels. 

Cycle Tag

All of have to find ways of reducing our carbon footprints. One area of life which can have a large footprint is transport. Diesel, petrol and aviation fuel all produce large amounts of carbon dioxide. On the other hand walking and cycling have a zero carbon footprint. If you – like me -enjoy cycling, you might want to encourage other people to cycle too. 

Today’s project is to make a tag to go on the back of your bicycle.

For this you will need the wooden lid from a empty box of Camembert cheese. Carefully remove the staples that fasten it to its sides.  

Choose two of these holes that are opposite each other and mark them with a pen. Imagine a horizontal line between these two spots so that you can orientate your tag. 

Use the lid to draw a circle on a piece of paper. On this piece of paper draw a design for your tag.

Once your are happy with your design, use permanent felt tip-pens  to draw your design onto the wooden circle. 

Thread to paper clips through each of the holes and then hook the paper clips around the metal supports under your cycle saddle.  

Every time you go for a ride, people will see your tag and will think, Cycling is a good way to travel!

Count Down

Action 82: Improve your cycling confidence. Cycling is good for our  health and our environment. There are plenty of organisations who work to encourage and promote cycling, with  practical support and through campaigns. 

https://www.bikeisbest.com/article-search#Lump4298

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/           https://www.lcc.org.uk/

https://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/ This latter promotes cycling for those with disabilities.

Count Down

Action 54: Give your bike a thorough service so it is ready for the colder months ahead. Or book it in  with a bike shop for a service. 

With warm and water proof clothing you can enjoy cycling throughout the months ahead. Sustrans offers advice and tips on cycling and its benefits – https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/get-active/2020/everyday-walking-and-cycling/how-to-cycle-in-the-rain-look-after-your-bike-and-keep-yourself-dry/