We could not have asked for a more beautiful autumn morning last Sunday when our riders gathered at Nicholson Park to undertake the inaugural All Abilities ride with The Disability Trust’s CycleAbility Program.
Originally designed to be a part of the MS Sydney to Gong ride, the event was unfortunately postponed due to the various safety issues that had arisen after such extreme weather so far this year. Luckily for our team we were able to continue with our own plans and our ride was the first “bike city sanctioned event” in the lead up to the UCI Road World Championships.
Our team of around 40 riders, of all abilities, pulled on their new shirts and took off from Woonona to ride the 6kms to Fairy Meadow where they were met with lots of cheers and a well-deserved morning tea supplied by The Plant Room Café.
Since starting CycleAbility Alex has learnt that cycling isn’t just a solo activity but that there is a large community of cyclists across the Illawarra. “The most important thing I've learned practically is bike maintenance. I've learnt how to pump up my tyres, how to oil my chain, and what gear I should own or carry.” The highlight of the day for Alex was the teamwork at the end of the ride. “We were all concerned about our tail-end Charlies, Clare and Ed, so some of us (including myself) hopped back on our bikes and rode up to check on them and to give everyone back at the finish line, an update on them. We all gave them a big cheer when they arrived!”
The big success story for the morning was for Clare who has learnt to ride a bike thanks to the program. Clare was very excited to be partnered up with Acting CEO ED Birt who has been instrumental is helping Clare learn the skills she needed to undertake the ride. “I was excited that Ed was my buddy. It’s good to keep going with it cause then you can go riding with your Dad and your family” said Clare. “It’s great to go to cause it gets you out.”
Clare is looking forward to the next ride and hopes that more people come along and join in the fun.
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