Find out why London’s All Ability Inclusive Cycling Clubs are so popular
07th January 2023
Membership to an All Ability Club (AAC) is well sought after in the cycling community – it’s at the core of Bikeworks vision. Clubs run throughout the week and are open to all, regardless of physical or learning needs or previous experience with cycling. There are plenty of cycles that are waiting to be tried.
Our first club was established in 2006 in Mile End Park where a handful of cyclists attended. We now have 4 fixed hub locations where clubs are delivered on a regular basis and can welcome anywhere up to 100 people!
The friendly atmosphere is what keeps people coming back again and again:
- In 2022, a massive 14,000 people attended – 4,000 more than the previous year
- In 2021 people attended on average 4.5 times each
- 2,253 individuals made 9,953 visits to the clubs
- Our data shows that whilst 37% of our registered users identify themselves as having a disability, people with disabilities make up 47% of the club visits.
This tells us that it is people with disabilities who are our most frequent repeat visitors to the club. And they love to come, rain or shine!
Covid-19 was particularly challenging for club members who thrived off social interaction. Being stuck indoors throughout lockdown, separated from friends and family and unable to do the usual every day or pleasurable activities has had a negative impact on mental health. Those impacts have often been greater for people with disabilities. According to this ONS study, disabled people more often indicated coronavirus had affected their life than non-disabled people in ways such as their health (35% for disabled people, compared with 12% for non-disabled people), access to healthcare for non-coronavirus related issues (40% compared with 19%) and well-being (65% compared with 50%).
Bikeworks knows the positive impact that social interaction and physical activity can have on wellbeing, and it was important to us to keep the All Ability Clubs running. During 2021 winter lockdown, the All Ability Clubs were exempt from government restrictions on the grounds that they provide an essential service to people with disabilities.
Please head to our All Ability Club page to find your nearest club. Whether you want to come down for a natter, or would like to try out some of our cycles – our friendly team of cycle instructors will be on hand to provide support.
If you or a family member require support travelling to your local club, you may find our neighbourhood Cycle Taxi can help.