Categories Charities

Ride Side-by-Side launched for visually impaired cyclists

Blind and partially sighted people living in the West London area can benefit from a new cycling scheme which provides free and guided electric cycles.

Ride Side-by-Side, which launched in March, enables residents of Kensington, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Fulham and east of Ealing to make short trips, keep appointments, visit the shops or make social visits using a Side-By-Side cycle, accompanied by a trained rider (pilot).

The scheme was established by Metro Blind Sport, a London based charity, creating fun, accessible sport and physical activity opportunities for blind and partially sighted individuals, and Bikeworks, a social enterprise which provides cycling opportunities to those most likely to be excluded. 

Thanks to a grant from The Edward Gostling Foundation, the Ride Side-by-Side programme is fully funded and is free to those who need it.

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.

Martin Symcox, 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.”

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

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