Metro Blind Sport launches Ride Side-by-Side!

Blind and partially sighted people will soon be able to interact socially and get some exercise, thanks to a cycling scheme due to start at the end of March from Metro Blind Sport and Bikeworks.

Ride Side-by-Side will enable visually impaired Londoners to get around the West London area by pedalling on electric cycles, which can assist on hills when needed. Residents of Kensington, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Fulham and east of Ealing can make short trips, keep appointments, visit the shops or make social visits using a Side-By-Side cycle, accompanied by a trained rider (pilot).

Ride Side-by-Side’s timing is perfect, as the Government guidelines have now changed, allowing organised outdoor sport for disabled people to restart.

Caroline Kendall, Operations Director of Edward Gostling Foundation, said, “We believe that all people living with some form of disadvantage should have the same choices, quality of life opportunities and aspirations as others.

We are delighted to be able to assist Metro Blind Sport with a grant for their Ride Side by Side project enabling people to be able to interact with others and have access to fresh air and exercise.”

Thanks to The Edward Gostling Foundation, this project is fully funded and is free to those who attend the cycling sessions.

Martin, CEO of Metro Blind Sport, said: “The Ride Side-by-Side project with Bikeworks and Metro Blind Sport enables people least likely to cycle to make cycling trips.

“It is a relatively simple concept, eliminating the barriers to cycling for people who would benefit from being more physically active. It enables people not only to make trips but also to pedal and get exercise.

“The pandemic has increased inactivity and social isolation for blind and partially sighted people, and Ride Side-by-Side offers a fun solution to these and other current issues. The security of riding with an experienced pilot around the enticing West London area is a perfect cycling combination.”

Start Date: Tuesday 30 March and Wednesday 31 March 2021

There will be two-time slots available on each of the days. The sessions will then occur every week after that for the foreseeable future.

  • Session 1 is from 9.30 am until 11 am.
  • Session 2 is from 11.30 am until 1 pm.

Blind and partially sighted people can register for the scheme by emailing: martin.symcox@metroblindsport.org

Metro will register their interest and connect them to Bikeworks.

ENDS

For further information or images, please contact: Martin Symcox, Metro Blind Sport martin.symcox@metroblindsport.org 07969 360940

Editors’ Notes

About Bikeworks

Bikeworks was set up as a social enterprise in 2006 in the East End of London. The founding partners, Jim Blakemore and Zoe Portlock had the original vision for Bikeworks on the back of London, winning the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Now they are based in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park within the Lee Valley VeloPark. Bikeworks All Ability Cycling clubs continue to grow. Specialists across various needs that include mental health, dementia, physical and learning disabilities.

www.bikeworks.org.uk/

About Edward Gostling Foundation

Edward Gostling Foundation provides grants to other charities that are registered and regulated by a UK Charity Commission to enhance the quality of life of people in need and, particularly, those on a low income and who have a physical and/or mental disability or long-term illness.

www.edwardgostlingfoundation.org.uk

About Metro Blind Sport

Metro Blind Sport is a London-based charity that creates fun, accessible sport and physical activity opportunities for blind and partially sighted individuals of all ages and abilities.

Established in 1973 by a group of passionate blind and partially sighted individuals keen to break down barriers to sports participation, the organisation offers opportunities to get involved in a wide variety of sports, primarily located within Greater London.

Metro Blind Sport has been at the forefront of promoting blind and partially sighted sport since it began, initiating the adaptions to sports, influencing National Governing Bodies, advising on equipment developments and supporting coaches and volunteers to get involved.

For more information, visit our website: www.metroblindsport.org

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