Ruth and Aaran’s Story
You Can Bike Too, that has helped more than 3500 people to cycle and been recognised by the Prime Minister and members of the Royal Family. The You Can Bike Too presentation team have brought the message of inclusive cycling to hundreds of people across the UK.
You Can Bike Too began when Ruth Brannan and Aaran Hedges discovered a shared love of cycling. However, Aaran couldn’t cycle a standard two-wheeled bike and felt excluded from an activity that the rest of his family enjoyed. Together, Ruth and Aaran visited an inclusive cycling project in Finsbury Park so that Aaran could try out lots of different bikes and found that he could cycle a specially adapted bike that overcame his difficulties with balance and co-ordination.
Ruth and Aaran recruited other people interested in cycling and the project team are busy making the project a reality in Cambridge – seeking partners, funding and key resources.
Aaran and Ruth continued to get people excited about You Can Bike Too. Aaran became star of the show for an article in the Business section of the Cambridge News. Aaran worked with Ruth to take the steps necessary to get this project off the ground, along with other members of the project team, who are all volunteers. Many of the team have learning disabilities and / or physical disabilities that make cycling a standard bike very challenging.
Aaran and Ruth met people with similar passion at Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust where Mick Woolhouse agreed to host bikes at Milton Country Park. Aaran went on to become the star of the show as one of the torch-bearers for the Paralympic Torch at the Paralympic Games in 2012. Hundreds of people tried out a whole range of bikes with You Can Bike Too – bikes with three or four wheels instead of two. Bikes designed to take a wheelchair on a special platform. Bikes without pedals. And more!
The You Can Bike Too project team was also nominated for the Cambridge News Community Awards, 2012, which led to being one of three winners for the Community Support Award. The project team is also the winner of the Sportsmaker Regional Award 2012 (East Region), and has been shortlisted for the Living Sport Cambridge Commodities Power of Sport award. Members of the project team met the Duck and Duchess of Cambridge and were recognised by then Prime Minister David Cameron for their work.
Aaran and Ruth have. moved on to other adventures, and their legacy endures as the bikes continue to be available to hire at Milton Country Park.