Guest post from Terry who attends Bikeworks’ All Ability Cycling. He lives in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, has an acquired brain injury and an acquired physical disability. Terry loves cycling and likes the whole world to know it!
I have cycled since I was a boy. When I was six years old, I was involved in a road traffic accident when I was riding my bike. As a result, I have an acquired brain injury, difficulty using my left hand and walking is quite hard.
I first went to an All Ability Cycling club in 2006 when Bikeworks ran a club from the Urban Adventure Base in Mile End Park. I rode a tricycle then, which I was given when I was at school.
I didn’t go to Bikeworks for a while due to health problems but I went into Bikeworks’ shop on Cambridge Heath Road when I was on a ride with my support worker, Nick. Jolyon from Bikeworks told me about Special Olympics cycling, which appealed to me because I like to ride fast! Knowing that I was going to start cycling competitively motivated me to relearn how to ride a two wheeler. My mum helped me with this and I much prefer riding on two wheels.
Since March 2014, I’ve been attending the Bikeworks Special Olympics cycling programme at the Velopark road circuit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on a fortnightly basis. I’m currently the fastest cyclist there and my best lap time of the one-mile circuit so far is 4min 13sec.
Since returning to cycling regularly I’ve lost 10kg in seven months and feel a lot healthier. I have some liver problems, which my doctor recently told me are getting much better now that I am exercising more and my diet is better.
Aside from cycling with Bikeworks, I also cycle at least twice a week with Nick. We cycle on the roads and canals and ride all over London. Two weeks ago we went to London Zoo via Angel. I find it difficult to walk long distances so cycling gives me independence and a sense of freedom. If I didn’t have a bike, I wouldn’t go anywhere because of my foot. Now I am more free.
I have a couple of modest goals for the future – I am aiming for a knighthood…and an OBE! To achieve these honours I would like to be recognised for getting loads of people involved in cycling. I have already started by getting Nick to cycle with me! I also have a friend who lives near Victoria Park and has a disability. I’d like to coach him on cycling and bring him to the All Ability Club. One day I want to cycle around the world and raise money for charity, with Nick in tow…
I want more people to be able to cycle. Cycling has really helped me and I love it. Anyone who needs some support to cycle at first can go to Bikeworks All Ability Cycling clubs and there are also opportunities for volunteering and employment. More people cycling at Bikeworks’ clubs means that there are more people for me to beat!
Find out more about All Ability Cycling.