Wednesday 9 February 2011

Riding together

Riding through the suburbs
Another of the reasons why it's so good to have a comprehensive network of very high quality cycle paths is that they also are good for people with disabilities to travel by bike.

A few minutes later in the city centre
In this case, two people are riding on an electric assist trike carrying a wheelchair across the back. I saw them first on the way into town, and a few minutes later I saw them again travelling in the opposite direction.

The bike's great, allowing a couple to ride together in this way, side-by-side and sociable. But the people are the important part of this picture. The bike, together with the cycling infrastructure, give this couple freedom that they would otherwise have.

Uninterrupted and unobstructed infrastructure are necessary from their home in the suburbs all the way to the city centre to make it possible for them to use it in this way in comfort, with no problems due to fighting through traffic. It is a legal requirement that all cycling infrastructure has to be accessible to machines like this.

In countries where there isn't such infrastructure, lobbyists for people with disabilities ought to be asking for it. Infrastructure like this is not just for "cyclists". It improves everyone's life.


Anonymous said...

Hello David

A very nice post illustrating the equality side of the cycle path and I agree fully that they improve people's lives so much. It always cheers me up when I see people getting out and about and enjoying the experience. Even more so when they are able to overcome difficulties, that at least to me, seem quite a challenge. And good on the developers and builders of the trikes, hand bikes and electric assist systems.
Mark Garrett, Bristol UK

Daniel Sparing said...

Not only disabled but also the elderly.

In fact, retired people will be a substantial part of European population in the near future. It is simply undemocratic to not provide the infrastructure for them (and dangerous to force them to drive cars when even they themselves admit they can't really drive safe).

David Hembrow said...

Daniel: I absolutely agree. I've a number of posts about older people.