Recently, two members of Handcycling Edinburgh, Neil and Ken, ventured out to Castle Semple to meet up Jane Egan, British Paratriathlete, for a spot of road training on out handbikes. We were also joined by David and Lewis of Ride 63 & Castle Semple, Clyde Muirshiel Park.
We started the day with a lively discussion over coffee and biscuits about what it’s like to ride on the road with a handbike and how it differs from riding an upright bike, as well as some of the important points to consider when manoeuvring around cars and working with factors including visibility, signalling, lane position and speed.
After venturing out to the bikes and going through our pre-ride checks, we cruised out to the car park and, amongst the cars in this quiet section, we revisited issues of safety and road position, paying particular attention to the visibility that we have as handcyclists, as well as how visible we are to drivers in cars. Then we planned our route though the lovely village of Lochwinnoch.
Once on the road went through a myriad of road positioning scenarios from proper positioning of the handcycles on approaches to corners and intersections as well as positioning through and leaving those same corners and intersections.
Added in for a dose of good measure was practice of the inevitably forgotten gearing setup to ensure that once we stopped, we could accelerate quickly and efficiently while blending in with the traffic. And what great traffic it was! There was no shortage of cars and truck to mingle amongst and, I must say, the drivers in Lochwinnoch were great to ride around, very friendly and courteous.
A great bonus was that the rain held off bar a few small sprinkles that just made the ride more fun. And the topper was some surprise training on how to handle horses on the roads, and I must say, it’s quite an experience to come across a horse when you’re less than a metre off the ground!
All in all it was a great day of training with some fine folks and I think that Neil and Ken picked up a lot of great tips on how to make riding in traffic not just safe, but fun.
Thanks to David for the photos and Jane for the great coaching. Thanks also to David and Clyde Muirshiel Park for the use of a handbike for the day.
I think Neil and Ken are definitely looking forward to our next training sessions. Check out our events page to see the upcoming training dates.
Upcoming coaching session with Jane Egan.
Following on from our initial coaching sessions on braking and manoeuvring, as well as riding with traffic and lane positioning (see our blog for more info), Handcycling Edinburgh will be participating in another training sessions with British Paratriathlete, Jane Egan.
The next coaching session will be held at The Commonwealth Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, also known as the Emirates Arena, on 06 July.
Coaching topics will be announced on the day. Keep your eyes peeled and let us know if you’d like to come along by sending us an email at email@example.com
Handcycling Edinburgh’s second taster day followed the success of the first. The day started out just as refreshing and for some, it made for a great ride to the Bangholm Sports and Outdoor Centre. Just as on Sunday, the All-ability Bike Centre was full of excited people and lots of families.
We had another great turnout and luckily it was a bit drier for the riding today. Not only did we have the handcycle trials, but we also looked at, and worked on a clip-on handcycle and had a good pro and con discussion with them vs. the bikes.
As the day only held a slight mist, we decided it was a great opportunity for a short ride out. So, with one of our intrepid guests, we headed out for a tour of the cycle paths around Bangholm. As luck would have it, access to the cycle paths is a nice downhill slope to get you up to speed.
The loop around Bangholm Sports and Outdoor Centre proved to be an excellent opportunity to give one of our visitors an on-the-road trial of one of the bikes and he did great! He was a natural at manoeuvring and keeping up speed as well as powering up a couple of hills which is quite a challenge for a first time handcyclist. Not to be outdone with challenges, he was also up for taking his handbike on the road for his fist shot at riding in traffic which went off without a hitch.
Though this was the last taster session during the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, we know there are many more people that would like to give handcycling a try. So, we are planning future sessions to give more people an opportunity to give the bikes a try. E-mail us, sign up for our newsletter, and check back frequently to keep up to date on future sessions.
Handcycling Edinburgh would like to offer a special thanks to a number of people who helped to make these taster sessions possible.
David Glover at All-ability Bike Centre for coordinating your resources and space
David Hill at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park for providing a great selection of handcycles
Martin Harris at Scottish Cycling for coordinating transport of the handcycles
Bob McFarlane at Scottish Cycling for transporting the handcycles
And special thanks to all the great people who came out to try the handcycles, especially those who braved the (slightly) rainy Sunday session.
Handcycling Edinburgh’s first taster day and first event of the year was a great success! The day started a bit grey with the suggestion that it might rain but it was still a brilliant day for a ride, cool and refreshing. The clubs arrival at the Bangholm Sports and Outdoor Centre found a busy hub of activities with visitors to the All-ability Bike Centre.
As the morning progressed, the rain started to fall but as luck would have it, there were a lot of great people so excited about cycling that a little rain wasn’t going to stop them. We had a great turnout for that handcycling taster session and met some wonderful people who had a great time on the handbikes. All three styles of bike were ridden by our guests and it was clear that they took to them like a duck takes to water. It fact, it was difficult getting some of them out of the bikes! We even had a particularly keen rider willing to try a little bit of off-road handcycling on one of the club member’s bikes! All in all it was a great day getting to meet some fantastic people that were very excited about being able to get into cycling.
After today, we’re definitely looking forward to Tuesday’s taster session as well!
As Handcycling Edinburgh grows and develops, additional information will be added here to help with your own handcycling adventures.
In the meantime, why not join us?
Thanks for your patience.
To celebrate Bike Week 2016, Handcycling Edinburgh, in conjunction with Edinburgh All-ability Cycling is hosting a handcycle taster event!
If you have ever wanted to try handcycling or would like to try a bike different to one that you may already have, come visit us on:
Sunday, 12 June from 10:00 – 12:00
Tuesday, 14 June from 12:00 – 16:00
The event will be held at the Edinburgh All-ability Cycling Centre located at the Bangholm Outdoor Centre in Edinburgh.
23 Craighall Gardens, Edinburgh EH6 4RJ
Stop by to try out handcycling and meet some of the club members.