Archive for the ‘Pedal Power’ Category
On Saturday I went along to another session of Pedal Power. When I arrived just after 1pm, I could see the bicycles were already out on the basketball court. There had been a morning session for adolescents between 11am-1pm, although as this was the first time (and the weather forecast was poor) the session was small. The afternoon session attracted many of the regular attendees, despite the rain which increasingly set in. This time, people generally stayed on the basketball courts rather than going round the park.
Before the session started at 2pm, those who were there already took the opportunity to adjust the bikes and pump up the tyres. Punctures are a regular occurrence with so many bikes, although many have puncture resistant tyres.
Chatting to Nursen, one of the cycle trainers, I found that the club could do with more bikes not just for members with learning disabilities but for their families and friends who may also want to ride on the track during sessions. The club does have some bicycles for them but not always enough. So, if you have an old mountain bike or a children’s trike gathering dust, Pedal Power could re-home it!
Hanging around while the club started to pack up, I realised that some of the bikes fold up pretty small – in particular several trikes, which can then be loaded onto a wheelchair bike to take over to the storage shed.
Pedal Power is an inclusive cycling club that meets in Finsbury Park every other week (apart from a Winter break between December and February). Here’s a short Youtube video made by Walter Stabb about the club:
Kat and I will be finding out more about the club as part of our Hackney research. We’ll be doing this by turning up, talking to people, and helping out. On Saturday 18th, I visited the club for the first time. It was busy and the scene was both inspired and slightly chaotic – lots of bikes being moved, new and regular members turning up, news and ideas being shared.
The club’s home is a former basketball court on Finsbury Park. It seems a good place for all ability cycling – the basketball court is a self-contained space away from motor traffic, while more confident or adventurous cyclists can either cycle round the park itself or along the Parkland Walk, a shared foot and cycle track that goes towards Highgate.
During my session at the club I watched people experience the joy – and sometimes frustration – of cycling, on a variety of types of cycle. I think my favourite was a tandem tricycle! Over the next few months we will be finding out more about the club and its unique place in Hackney’s cycling culture.