Picture: Bikeworks CIC / Madeleine Waller

London’s first inclusive cycling centre opens in Olympic park 

The first inclusive cycling centre in London has officially opened its doors at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

Social enterprise Bikeworks has partnered with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the London Marathon Foundation to deliver a new hub for cycling. 

The centre showcases specialist cycles from brands like Van Raam and TomCat, and will host the inclusive cycling All-Ability Club, which will see trained instructors support riders. 

Jim Blakemore, Bikeworks co-CEO and co-founder, said: “Promoting cycling for everyone is at the heart of what we do at Bikeworks. No one should be left out from experiencing the joy and freedom of cycling and the health benefits it brings. Adapted cycles are a considerable investment, so it’s essential people receive a tailored face-to-face service from an experienced team, including the opportunity to try out a range of cycles.”

Co-founders Jim Blakemore and Zoe Portlock, created Bikeworks 17 years ago to tackle barriers to participation and to develop a programme of cycling activities that ensures no one is left behind. Seizing the opportunity of London being awarded the 2012 Games, Bikeworks was founded to connect the most excluded people to the legacy this would create.

Zoe Portlock, co-CEO and co-founder of Bikeworks, said: “We believe everyone deserves to enjoy the freedom, happiness and health benefits of cycling. Inequalities prevent many people from taking part, enjoying and discovering greater physical and mental wellbeing. The Centre is a massive milestone for Bikeworks as we continue our journey advocating for inclusive cycling and investment at grass-roots level.” 

The LLDC is the organisation responsible for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, and provided a grant of £55,000 for the new centre. 

The centre also received financial support of £50,000 from the London Marathon Foundation’s Active Spaces Fund.

Paul Brickell, director of regeneration and community with the LLDC, said: “Bikeworks do such great work in making sure everyone can have access to cycling.

“We are particularly proud to support this new Centre for Excellence based on Chobham Manor, which is the first neighbourhood created on the park. This is another fitting legacy from the London 2012 Games.”

Read more: ‘The bicycle is the tool, but the exciting thing is what it delivers’ – Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams on the future of mobility

Marianna Sikorowska, funding manager at the London Marathon Foundation, said: “Our mission is to inspire activity so communities in London and across the UK can lead active and healthy lives. We’re proud to have funded Bikeworks to create the UK’s first Inclusive Cycling Centre, so many more people of all abilities can participate in accessible cycling activities.” 

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