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PEDAL POWER: Wheely good idea for all
THE Guardian’s Pedal Power campaign was launched to encourage all our readers to venture out on their bikes.
We aim to show that there is a type of cycling to help everyone enjoy the fun and freedom a bike ride can bring.
This week’s Pedal Power section is no exception as we highlight a project helping cyclists of all abilities enjoy a pootle around the park.
ONCE a week during the summer months a liberating sight can be seen amid the trees of a popular Northwich beauty spot.
A fleet of adapted cycles awaits visitors to Marbury Country Park every Wednesday, allowing riders of all abilities to experience the joy of gliding around the trails on two, three or even four wheels.
This is because the park is home to an innovative scheme called Wheels for All, run by the charity Cycling Projects.
Pete Wilding, a Wheels for All volunteer, said: “It’s inclusive.
“Anyone who’s got any kind of mobility problem, it doesn’t matter what it is, can come and have a nice day out.
“We have probably got a bike that fits and something for the carer too.”
The range of cycles includes two quad bikes, two hand cycles, four trikes, an O-pair, a wheelchair transporter and, Pete’s particular favourite, the low rider.
There is also a tandem and 10 bicycles.
On a busy week the project can attract 30 people with different needs.
Pete said: “It’s for a complete range of people.
“It may simply be someone who’s older and who hasn’t ridden a bike for 20 years, they may want to come along and have a go on the trike.
“There’s a grandmother that comes along, takes a bike out, has a picnic and comes back again.”
Marbury Park’s Wheels for All is one of more than 40 across the country but has a big advantage in its setting.
“Marbury Park is a fantastic environment,” Pete said.
“A lot of the projects use athletics tracks but riding a loop around the trees of the lime avenue is twice what you would get on a normal athletics track.”
Chris Mosely, a ranger at the park, said he was proud that the project was running at Marbury.
“It’s an extra feature of the park,” he said.
“It advertises the fact that the path network is accessible to all abilities, which is something that we try to improve and promote.”
Sessions run from outside the rangers’ cabin between 10am and 3pm each Wednesday from April to October.
There is a hire charge of £3 per client but carers can borrow a bike for free.
For more information visit cycling.org.uk or ring 01925 234213.
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