The Tour de France is taking place 4th-26th July.
The Tour de France is an annual multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, and with recent British victories, it’s gotten Greater Manchester and the rest of Britain into a cycling frenzy around the time of the tour.
Today is the first day after a rest day and the cyclists are taking on their first mountain; La Pierre Saint Martin, which is on the France-Spain border with an elevation of 1,766m!
Although you have to be a pro-cyclist to tackle the kind of distances the Tour de France reaches, cycling is a great way for people to get fit, and can be inclusive for all too!
Simply Cycling is a cycling group which reaches three different boroughs of Greater Manchester; Wythenshawe, Trafford and Manchester.
The sessions that the group offers are friendly, all ability cycling sessions in a social environment.
Simply Cycling is a volunteer based group and attracts more than 400 people every week, 50 weeks a year to their track sessions in Wythenshawe Park. The group brings together people from local day care and residential settings such as the National Autistic Society, Oakwood Lodge, local special schools such as Ashgate and Piper Hill and others such as the Grange, The Birches and Lancastrian, who are based out of the area but cater for children and young people from Wythenshawe and Northenden.
The group also has a connection with Manchester College and other specialist units. Their volunteers all live in Wythenshawe and Northenden and help in many ways to deliver the sessions, repair and maintain bikes and support people to ride the bikes.
One parent said: “I heard about Simply Cycling from a friend when we were out doing a bike ride together. I love cycling but with two young lads I hardly ever get the chance anymore. Joseph is 10 and full of energy and loves the outdoors. Matthew is almost 17 and is confined to a wheelchair and has no speech following complications at birth.
“It is really hard for us to find things to do as a family and so many things seem to stop over the holiday period it was a lovely surprise to turn up at Wythenshawe Park and see the range of bikes on offer. Joseph was off and quickly made friends with other children his age – racing on some of the go-kart style bikes. This gave me lots of opportunity to get Matthew on a wheelchair accessible bike and ‘join in the fun’.
“Matthew loved it and was squealing with delight. With the encouragement of the helpers we then put Matthew on a small trike with lots of upper body support and foot plates. With just a bit of pushing he went the whole way around the track – a quarter of a mile. I was sure he would be shattered and want to be put back in his wheelchair, but no, he indicated he wanted to go again! He did two laps – half a mile, which is staggering for his non-weight bearing body. I am so, so pleased and can’t wait to tell the rest of the family. The helpers then took Matthew around back on the wheelchair bike while I went on a tandem with Joseph. Result: Everyone happy and everyone tired! Thank you so much.”
Forever Manchester funds and support a variety of causes, with this being just one of them. If you’d like us to help more local children like Matthew DONATE TODAY and make a real difference in your area.