An exciting outdoors activity to increase access to cycling is being introduced this July by ANGUSalive following four months of closure due to COVID-19.
ANGUSalive has been awarded funding by Blazing Saddles, an All Ability Mobile Cycling hub administered by FABB Scotland (Facilitating Access and Breaking Barriers) to provide the fun sessions. FABB Scotland’s primary aim is to facilitate access and break barriers which promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities taking part in mainstream activities with family and friends. It is supported by all national cycling organisations and Scottish Disability Sport.
‘Are you Ready to Pedal – Family Bike Bubble Sessions’, which is a pilot project, will start from Friday 17 July at Monikie Country Park. There will be a selection of bikes on offer for children and adults to borrow, enjoy and ride for free. Bikes include two-wheelers, mountain bikes, wheelchair bikes, tandems, side-by-side bikes, trikes and hand bikes. The project’s aim is to support everyone to access cycling in a safe environment, ensuring participants can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of cycling. The event will follow ‘Covid-Secure’ safety guidelines.
Laura Smith OBE, Disability & Inclusion Lead for ANGUSalive said, “We are extremely grateful to Blazing Saddles and very excited about this pilot project that will give more people in Angus access to bikes and the opportunity to cycle, especially those who may previously have been excluded from participating in cycling for various reasons.
“There are so many personal and environmental benefits that come with cycling. It’s a great activity and it is hoped that the project will help people break down any barriers that some people might have faced getting into this sport. From trikes to tandems, whether it is families, carers, people with a disability, everyone can cycle out together and experience the outdoors in a way that is improving everyone’s health and wellbeing.”
This is an important event for ANGUSalive as it marks the start of reopening since the closure of its venues on 18 March, 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The same week sees a new Click and Collect service being trialled from Arbroath Library which will then be rolled out to Forfar, Carnoustie and Montrose Libraries over the following weeks. The ANGUSalive team has been updating working practices to meet current guidance surrounding reopening under COVID-19 restrictions.
ANGUSalive Chief Executive, Kirsty Hunter added: “After 17 weeks of connecting with our customers via ANGUSalive at Home, following closure of our venues due to COVID-19, it’s exciting our team can start getting activities up and running again for the local community to enjoy in person. In addition to our Family Bike Bubble pilot we’re trialling a new Click & Collect service from Arbroath Library which will be rolled out to more of our libraries over the coming weeks. We hope you’ll enjoy exploring Monikie Country Park on our fabulous new bike fleet and ordering a Book Box to discover some new stories this summer.
“We are having to adapt our services and working practices to define our new normal as sadly coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon. Obviously we’d love to open up more services but this will need to be a gradual process and we appreciate your continued support during this challenging time. We’re working with colleagues, partners and fellow trusts as well as following the Scottish Government’s route map to determine what we can reopen and when. It’s essential we take all the necessary steps to reopen safely in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues. We look forward to sharing further news about more healthy, active and creative services starting soon in Angus.”
The ‘Are you Ready to Pedal – Family Bike Bubble Sessions’ will take place on Fri 17, Mon 20, Wed 22, Fri 24, Mon 27, Wed 29 and Fri 31 July at Monikie Country Park.
For details on the new Click and Collect service visit https://www.angusalive.scot/libraries/