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Stella’s Story

I had never ridden a bike until last year after I attended a dementia fair about Action on Disability. I got chatting to a lady called Clare who told me about Bikeworks’ All-Ability clubs. I swear if I hadn’t sat by Clare, I wouldn’t have tried cycling. Listening to her made me believe that it was possible for me to cycle despite my disabilities.

“I love the freedom to go where I want that cycling gives me despite the many obstacles facing me.”

My Dyspraxia means I have difficulties with coordination and balance, but I promised Clare I would attend an all-ability session at Little Wormwood Scrubs. I went along in April 22, tried a side-by-side bike, and loved it. After a few visits I felt I had the skills and confidence to try a two-wheeler. At first, I was a bit wobbly especially as noise startles me, but I persevered and approximately 5 months later I was in full control.

I now also attend the All-Ability club in Bush Hill Park, it’s amazing! These clubs are great, they give me the opportunity to cycle despite not owning a bike and I love the social aspect of mixing with non-judgemental and like-minded people.

I also used the cycle taxi on a Monday to come home from work, it’s such a shame it is no longer running. However, through the cycle taxi scheme, I made friends with one of the pilots, Sibel from the Londra Bisiklet Kulublu, and she offered to provide me with a bike and buddy with me on bike rides to places like Forty Hall.

On the 9th June I took part in the Ride London 30-mile course with the help of Filip, my bike buddy from Bikeworks. I would say to other people if I can do it anyone can. I have a speech disability, left hemiplegia and dyspraxia but went from being unable to ride just over a year ago to finishing a 30-mile ride and I didn’t fall off! A miraculous feat for someone who can’t catch a ball!

I love the freedom to go where I want that cycling gives me despite the many obstacles facing me. I live in Ponders End and work at West Lea Attendance Support Unit in Edmonton and would love to be able to cycle to work. Riding on main roads is a challenge due to my spatial awareness difficulties but by my 44th birthday, or perhaps my 45th , I want to achieve that goal (I am now 43).

Due to my disability, I don’t get out much so I love attending the all-ability clubs, in fact I would go as far to say that they are one of the best things in my life. In 43 years, I never thought I would ride a bike. The confidence I have got from cycling has also given me the confidence to try other new things like body pump at the gym!

Read Stella’s Ride London blog here >>> https://www.bikeworks.org.uk/news-post/ride-london-30-miler-champs/