There can be few better family days out than cycling through a forest, but what do you do when one of your family can’t manage to cycle on a traditional bike?
Rob Brown, director of Dalby Forest Cycle Hub, may be able to provide the answer.
The cycle hub is a community interest company which was formed from a merger between Scarborough and Ryedale community cycling and Big Bear Bikes of Pickering.
Rob said “I was working with a group of children and there was one young man in a wheelchair who was unable to take part. I felt awful. I thought there’s all the rest of his class enjoying themselves, and he’s unable to join in. To be honest, it really upset me, so I went away and thought about it, thought about what children like him were missing out on.
“Two weeks later I went back with a tagalong (a bike which fixes on to the back of another bike), there was a seat on it which fitted securely round him and he was able to join in. You should have seen him smile.”
Rob said that since the bikeability scheme ended, fewer children are learning to ride .
“When I go into schools there are always a handful of children who can’t ride a bike. You ask who’s got a bike, how many have got a helmet, you forget to ask who can ride one.
“There’s always three or four who ‘forget’ to bring their bike, or their permission slip, so I ask for permission to work with just them, and we soon get them cycling.”
Rob is confident he can teach anyone to ride a bike: “Children I can get cycling within an hour, adults take a little longer, they’re too afraid of falling. The oldest person I’ve taught to ride a bike is 67.”
The cycle hub provides a range of bikes for all abilities, Rob said: “We have wheelchair transporter bikes, companion bikes where users can sit side by side and electric assist bikes for those who struggle to pedal uphill.”
The benefits of the location should not be overlooked either, a ride through the stunning Dalby Forest is certainly therapeutic.
“We have one gentleman who often used to cycle through the forest with his wife. He had a stroke six months ago and was unsure if he’d be able to cycle again, but our recumbent bike has allowed him to cycle safely around the forest while in a comfortable position and he’s now well on the road to recovery.”
Dalby Forest Cycle Hub is located in the Courtyard on Dalby Forest Drive.