Tag Archives: disability

Shrewsbury to Warrington: 10th July 61 miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

The lunchstop today was delightful. We stopped at the Dusty Miller on the Canal at Wrenbury and watched the relaxing river traffic pass serenely by. Below you can see one of the two support vans, driven by the quietly efficient rocket scientist Andy (obviously taking a few minutes off from working on his tan here and reading a book!). One of the support crew, among other things Andy does a sterling job of moving the luggage onto the next overnight point where we arrive to find our baggage already in the rooms.

Canal 1

What a scorcher it was today! Our teastop this afternoon consisted of flaking out on a grass verge for 45 minutes trying to rehydrate. I hope it cools down by Tuesday. Having had breakfast in the Little Thief this morning I think we’re all pleased to be rolling into the Travel Inn in Warrington tonight. 

At last! No packing up in the morning – it’s the restday…

Hereford to Shrewsbury: 9th July 60 miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

New Zealander Nathan Smith (pictured below with Richard Lamb) was hit by a car about a year ago resulting in an above knee amputation of his left leg. Here at the time on an 18 month working visa, he’s a Pharmacist in London who was a keen rugby player before the accident. His brother, Conrad, plays for the All Blacks and last night Nathan asked for directions from the Travel Inn receptionist to a pub with Sky showing the last game in the Lions – All Blacks Test. Nathan, Rob and I left on time in the morning but the directions were flawed and we did 10 miles racing around Hereford looking for the Fox Hunter when in actual fact it was only 1 mile from the Hotel! Anyway, we sat down with a drink 20 minutes into the game with the All Blacks leading thanks in part to a try scored by number 13, Conrad Smith!

Richard & Nathan in Marazion

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Tavistock to Taunton: 6th July 78 miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

Ok, so I said the hills yesterday were tough, today we went over Dartmoor to Exeter to meet the local press and radio at the Exeter Disablement Centre. Well, needless to say we were late by about 2 hours and we didn’t leave there until about 4pm. In the afternoon we rode over the Blackdown Hills to Taunton arriving at the Hotel at 8:40 – 7h45m in the saddle, this must have been the toughest day.

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St Austell to Tavistock: 5th July 44 miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

Grand start to the day. The ‘landlord’ of the B&B we stayed in last night reneged on the agreed price and started haggling for more money per head. Turned out he is not VAT registered, refused to give a signed receipt, and would only accept cash. Hmm, draw your own conclusions. What a lovely chap… Anyway, once on the road it started raining and it didn’t stop until about 4pm. Not many chances for photo’s today! The route took us over the southern part of Bodmin Moor and the hills were relentless. Only 44 miles today but the amount of climbing and the steepness of some of the hills really did wear you down. The upside was that although we were soaked we were very very warm! One picture I got today was Adrian on his handcycle in a rare dry(ish) spot. I’m now convinced that Dave and Adrian will make it all the way to John O’Groats. The bike Adrian’s riding is Dave’s old one – not as swish as the “stealth” version above but still a nice machine. Adrian Cornwall done – tomorrow Dartmoor…

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Penzance to St Austell: 4th July 48 miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

You’ve heard of the record attempt for how many people you can fit into a mini? How about how many people, limbs, wheelchairs and baggage you can get into a 6 bunk dorm which even when empty only has a walkway wide enough for one person at a time. Now imagine everyone’s finally managed to clamber into their bunks – and 5 minutes later the one at the end needs a leak…

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Land’s End to Penzance: 3rd July 20 miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged Lands End 1 - Version 2

Following a team talk from the Chair of the Douglas Bader Association, from Lady Bader, and from Phil Yates, the MD of the sponsor Otto Bock UK, sixteen of us set off from Penzance to the start proper at Land’s End. The total mileage for the day was 32, but counting only the miles back to the Youth Hostel in Penzance we’ve covered 20 miles on the first stage of the End to End. Not a bad ploy I think – gives everyone a chance to get into the swing of it and, for some, to get used to riding in a group. We have 6 lower limb amputees, 2 handcyclists, 1 upper limb amputee and 7 able bodied riders – a varied range of abilities. Tomorrow is billed as 48 miles of scenic opportunities…

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Disabled cyclists in England: imagery in policy and design

Kevin Hickman (2015) Disabled cyclists in England: imagery in policy and design. Proceedings of the ICE – Urban Design and Planning. Published here (access-controlled). Pdf for personal non-commercial use here.

Things have moved on a little since I submitted the above titled abstract to the ICE journal Urban Design and Planning for a themed edition on disabilities, vulnerable road users and navigation of the urban environment. However, as this Design Manual being consulted on at the moment demonstrates, it remains relevant.

My thanks to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, to British Cycling and to Sustrans for permission to use images from their documents; to Wheels for Wellbeing, Ann Wright, Caroline Waugh and Martin Symons for the pictures; and to Rachel Aldred for the initial advice and encouragement.

I hope the paper proves useful.

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words – and more besides

Around the time I began taking an interest in how cycling is depicted graphically, I saw a presentation at the 2013 Cycling and Society Symposium that opened my mind to how a subtext can be conveyed in, and gleaned from, images. The slides aren’t available, but from memory, and my scant notes, I recall Peter Cox speaking around some excerpts from the CTC Gazette during the interwar years which included a number of Frank Patterson drawings. Continue reading

Bloody Bicycle Week!


“The bicycle takes gold, silver AND bronze in the race to normalise riding a bike, everyday, for everyone, as long as  you’re on two wheels.”

I’m never quite sure who’s managing Bike Week each year, but I think I’m on fairly solid ground when I say that this year, 2015, the year that they’re officially wrapping up involvement in their latest Inclusive Cycling project, that it’s our national cycling charity the CTC.

I’ve been pointing out this mismatch between words and imagery to anyone who’ll listen for over two years and now I’m tired. Tired that despite great, dedicated people within CTC fighting our corner, the bicycle reigns supreme in any national imagery. Would it kill anyone to draw a picture of a handbike or a trike? Of course not. And that makes the continuous refusal to do so unacceptable.

So here’s the finger CTC. I resign my membership forthwith.

Plus Ça Change

I’ve been invited to the Big Cycling Debate on Monday and was asked to submit a question to the panel of MPs representing the three ‘main’ parties:

“The Get Britain Cycling report contains many images of bicycles on the cover and within its pages. Should it be more accurately titled Get Britain Bicycling?”

I was asked by CTC to submit a different question – referring to a 2 year old report from the last big cycling debate involving parliamentarians has no relevance to their respective policy positions on cycling. I guess things must have moved on.

This is the invite to the event.

big_cycling_debate_invitation_final copy

I started counting bicycles in the images of cycling policy and design documents last year and it’s turned me into an annoying little boy who can’t see the Emperor’s New Lycra. Every time a new one appears, the big cycling orgs stand around it, nodding appreciatively, and I’m left pointing and stuttering “b-b-but…”

What’s odd is I know for a fact that four of the organisations endorsing this debate are actively trying to do something for the riders of trikes, handbikes, tandems, tagalongs, cargobikes, etc (CTC alone held two Inclusive Cycling conferences this week) but ask one of them to come up with an image to represent ‘cycling’ in the national media and all of that’s forgotten. In fact I’m not sure why I’ve been invited.

Cycling: the more it changes, the more it stays the same.

Please Make It Stop II

Meeting tonight at 7:30 in Langdale Hall, Witney about Green Party member and Bampton resident Mark Wood and other disabled people whose deaths have been connected to the policies and actions of the government’s Department of Work and Pensions.

Reported by the Oxford Mail and The Independent.

Another letter to Mark’s MP…

Dear David,

I wrote to you about your constituent Mark Wood at the beginning of March asking you three questions. When we spoke in June we didn’t manage to get beyond the first, the discussion becoming mired in your government’s perception that GPs are too soft to do the right thing for their patients. That was disheartening, and all I left with was the assurance that a DWP investigation was underway and would report soon.

So, here I am with yet another question: What is the result of the investigation into the actions of your government and the organisations they commissioned with regard to Mark Wood and his subsequent death?

Tonight I shall attend a meeting in Witney at which Mark Wood’s sister will speak. No doubt Cathie Wood will question why Mark’s MP has subsequently done nothing to get to the bottom of what happened, and at least ensure disabled people like Mark don’t suffer unnecessarily in the future. He hasn’t been the only one; Gill Thompson will address the meeting on behalf of her brother David Clapson who died after being ‘sanctioned’. There are more.

You’ve made much of your own family experience of disability recently. Since you’ve brought it up, valid as it is, it’s an experience of one disability in one family. The circumstances of other families living with other disabilities are very different. Are you sure your government is treating them with the same dignity you would wish for your own? I suggest to you that to date it hasn’t, and so I ask again, please make it stop.

Yours sincerely,