Getting your blind child on a bike, with Get Cycling
By Cecily Morrison
We live in a city in which 50% of people commute to work by bicycle at least once a week. Indeed, we rely solely on bicycles to get around. In a city so full of bicycles, we see daily how many shapes, sizes, and configurations they can come in. Some imaginable and some way beyond imaginable. We’ve been thinking for some time about what should be Ronan’s first bicycle.
Ronan can spend hours in our front garden climbing up onto the seats of our various bicycles to ring the bells. Our bicycle park is like another child’s jungle gym with a fascinating maze of things to climb on, over, under, or go around. It is clear that the defining feature of a bike is the seat and the bell!
Working with Get Cycling, a social enterprise that supports inclusive cycling, we discussed a whole range of bicycles. We wanted to have Ronan in front of us when cycling as we were never sure when he might hear an appealing sound and start reaching for it. We were recommended a recumbent bicycle as these are lighter, but the lack of a proper bicycle seat would never do for Ronan. We then looked at various rear steer tandem bicycles in which the adult sits in back and steers, while the child (hopefully) pedals away in front.
In the end, we chose the Onderwater rear steer tandem. Ronan absolutely loves it. While we are still practicing pedalling, he is a master of climbing on and holding steady as we get about. Before we set out, we prop up the back wheel and then help Ronan pedal forward in place. Great exercise for those little legs and no uneven surfaces to worry about.
To find out more about cycling and leisure activities in general, visit our Leisure Section.