We are delighted to introduce Modeshift Associate Member and Active Travel Champion Dr Kay Inckle

Every day people inspiring everyday journeys. A celebration of walking, wheeling and cycling during Disability History Month and beyond!

Tell us about you and your active journey?

My name is Kay and, amongst other things, I am an avid handcyclist. I cycle every day, often two or three times a day, including to the swimming pool for my morning 2km swim before I start work, to the shops, for work meetings, socialising – even going on dates!

Where do you roll?

I recently got a new handcycle (in the picture) after my first one fell to pieces – not helped by the terrible quality of the roads where I live and me cycling 15-20km off-road every day during lockdown (to compensate for not swimming). With my new handcycle I notched up 1000km in just over three months and pretty much all of that was active travel. Mostly I cycle alone, and my journeys are for practical reasons: transport and everyday mobility. It’s much easier (and healthier and more sustainable) for me to attach my handcycle to my wheelchair and cycle than it is for me to dismantle my wheelchair and lift it over myself into the passenger seat of my car and drive. I do a bit of leisure cycling, including with other people, as it’s a great way to access nature which is otherwise inaccessible to me as a wheelchair-user.

What motivates you to ride?

I have cycled ever since I was a young adult and I discovered that it was an easy and pain-free form of mobility for me. I’m also a passionate environmentalist and I want to be able to move around and access nature without causing harm to the planet. I also love being outdoors and physically active so for me cycling is a win-win-win!

How do you champion the cause?

There are many barriers to cycling for disabled people, the cost of non-standard cycles, inaccessible infrastructure, lack of places to park and/or store a cycle, as well as a lot of unwanted attention when you are out and about – and of course terrible weather! But despite all of that cycling is an absolute life-saver for me, it gives me autonomy and independence, health and fitness, access to nature and a joyful experience of my own body. Without cycling my quality of life and mental health would be so much worse and I would miss out many wonderful experiences. I wish that all disabled people had the opportunity access cycling and enjoy the benefits of it and I’m glad that I work for an organisation (Wheels for Wellbeing) that is striving to make that possible.

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