Paralympics GB Carnival – 18 Sept 2016

Tomorrow is the big day, the day the Paralympics GB Carnival arrives in Edinburgh!

From 10am – 5pm on The Mound, there will be a carnival showcasing many of the events you’ve probably been seeing over the last two weeks at the Paralympics.

Handcycling Edinburgh will be representing handcycling and this will be your chance to come by and have a chat with us to see what we’re all about. You’ll also be able to see a selection of handcycles that are available. But even better, we will have two bikes set up on rollers for you to try!

So, once you’ve tried the handcycling game, come on over and see us and have a shot on one of our handcycles.

While you’re there, stop by and sign up for our upcoming taster session at Ingliston, to be held on 05 November.

Along with the cycling, you’ll also be able to check out Wheelchair Basketball and Tennis, Rowing, Shooting, Goal ball, Sitting Volleyball, and more!

For more information please see:
Paralympics GB Carnival Edinburgh
Paralympics GB Carnival

 

Special thanks to David and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, Castle Semple for the use of one of their bikes for the day.
Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

Paralympic carnival flyer

June Taster Day wrap-up

Our taster events during the Edinburgh Bicycle week were a resounding success. We met lots of great people and gave a number of visitors the change to try out our handcycles, and for some of them, it was their first time on a bike. It was great to have the turnout despite the slightly rainy days. Handcycling Edinburgh is keen to do more of these events in the near future so please let us know if you’re interested by emailing info@handcyclingedinburgh.org.

Paralympics GB Carnival – 18 Sept 2016

In celebration of the Paralympics, the Paralympics Carnival has been travelling all over the UK and is soon to be in Edinburgh. While it’s here, Handcycling Edinburgh will be representing handcycling. Pop by to have a chat with us and not only see some of the bikes that are available for handcyclists to ride, but have a shot at one of the bikes we’ll have on rollers. While you’re there, sign up for our upcoming taster day on 05 November, 2016. See you on The Mound on Sunday 18 September 2016. Paralympic carnival flyer

SIS BBQ

SIS hill climb

Made it to the top

Recently, Spinal Injuries Scotland hosted a barbeque and sporting event at Castle Semple, Clyde Muirshiel Park that Neil and Ken headed out to, and where we met up with Mike. It was a great day out and a chance to do a bit of cycling, try some kayaking, sailing, and power boating, and meet some fantastic people. The barbeque was mighty tasty as well, and well worth queueing for in the light rain.

 

There were a number of folks who hadn’t tried handcycling before and who had a shot on the bikes available at Castle Semple while Neil, Mike, and Ken talked about our experiences and gave some tips to the new riders. We also had some great support from some of the other keen riders on the west side who came out for the day.

 

One of the highlights though, was the early morning ride that Neil and Ken took. On a crisp morning, the two of us headed out from Castle Semple heading up the hill to Muirshiel Visitor Centre. Our previous road training paid off as we headed out through Lochwinnoch to head for the hills.

 

It wasn’t long before those hills kicked in too, and what a workout it was. The first gentle climb was a just a warmup until we turned right on to the main road and the hill just got steeper. But it was no match for our arms and we kept on going. As the village thinned out and the grassy hills came into view, we kept putting the power on. Occasionally we’d have a bit of a downhill run but it was just enough to get some speed for the next climb. Meandering through the bends past the on looking cows and sheep  we managed to power to the top of the climb to the Muirshiel Visitor Centre.

 

Having triumphantly reached the top, we replenished out energy stores, snapped a picture and prepared for the descent. The initial gentle descent soon turned into a roaring blast, with unbelievable speed. So much so that you can only see it when you contrast the times: 50 minutes of climbing, for 3 minutes of descent, but both were so worth it!

Coaching Day 1

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.

Taster Day 14 June Gallery

Taster Day 14 June

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.

Thanks to:

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.

Taster Day 12 June Gallery