A story from Hetty – Dina’s Mother / Carer.
Dina is Autistic, she has a lack of understanding, and no speech, all activities have been guesswork -’ lets see if she’ll like it’. More than 6yrs ago we discovered ‘Pedal Power’, at first she sat still on the bike,or pedaled backwards, all of the trainers persevered with her until she had got the idea !
They always have the time and patience to help take everyone to the next level, At ‘Pedal Power’ in Finsbury Park, Dina gets the freedom that she loves, the safety that she needs, happiness that she and the family love, and as much independence that can be afforded for her safety.
Dina does’nt even care about the weather, heavy rain, sun, snow, cold wind, – Dina rides – ‘the bikes’ ( her sign for ‘Pedal Power’). She ‘sports’ a happy / proud smile, and thoroughly enjoys herself. Thank you to all the trainers and helpers, who have made ‘Pedal Power’, ‘A Happy Place’ to get exercise and fresh air. Hetty, and ‘The Happy Cyclist’ herself – Dina.
A story from Ingrid about her son Wilf:
Our son, Wilf, who has significant learning difficulties and is severely autistic, learnt to ride an ordinary bike in three sessions with Pedal Power. He started with a scooter, then a bike with no saddle, which he stood on. Then a large tricycle. Then on to a bike with us running behind. Then we let go.
The atmosphere at Pedal Power was good humoured and we came as family and all tried the bicycles. These factors, I think, allowed him to feel unpressured and crucially he chose to join in. The Eastway track was a circuit so he couldn’t get lost, he knew we’d catch him up or he’d catch his brother and we knew we had the support of others all the way round so it gave us all a freedom.
For a long time we had family cycle rides every weekend day including Christmas Day at Wilf’s insistence. My husband then started to go for longer rides and eventually started to cycle to work, on the other side of London, and is now stones lighter and much happier. Wilf has had a difficult adolescence and cycling has fallen away however we are taking our bikes on holiday and hope to pick up his early enthusiasm again.