My name’s Harrie. I care about the environment, about climate change, and about how active travel - walking, rolling and cycling - for everyday transport can positively contribute to healthy, safe and environmentally friendly cities. I cycle as my primary mode of transport and particularly love cycling with my husband Caglar and our dog Frida around Greater Manchester, looking for new places to have a coffee or go for a walk. For videos of Frida looking snazzy cycling, checkout my twitter!
Cycling with Frida around Manchester when she was smaller
I work as a Healthy Active Cities researcher at the University of Salford and I am on the steering group of Walk Ride Greater Manchester, working to make active travel the natural choice for journeys across Greater Manchester.
Cycling for transportation is cheap, particularly compared to using a car.
Except if, like me, you are a disabled cyclist and need anything other than a standard two-wheel cycle. I recently ordered a trike so I can continue to transport my dog Frida safely now she is a massive 5kg and it cost the equivalent of a brand-new small car.
Me, trike shopping in York
When I gained my disability, I was already a keen cyclist and knew I wanted to continue cycling and would search out any means to achieve this. Luckily this is something that I have been able to fund myself. However, many disabled people who are interested in cycling will face a huge financial barrier in accessing a suitable cycle.
Through this crowdfunding campaign, on behalf of Walk Ride GM, I am raising funds to purchase E-Trikes that can loaned to disabled people across Greater Manchester, for three months at a time.
Working as a researcher on Healthy Active Cities, I know that one of the most important routes to start cycling for everyday journeys is to simply have access to a cycle, and to start giving it a go. Beginning with short trips to the shops to get milk, developing a bit more confidence each time, gradually extending distances and finding more opportunities and place to cycle.
But it’s much easier to take a punt on cycling if you can use a two-wheel cycle (my husband spent £150 on his first and only bicycle two years ago) than if you face an investment of thousands of pounds on a non-standard cycles.
By being able to provide an e-trike free of charge to disabled people on loan for a number of months, Walk Ride GM will provide an opportunity for people to experience the joy of cycling and to work out whether and how cycling can fit into their lives, without having to make a huge initial investment.
We are crowdfunding for at least one (maybe more – depending upon your generosity) E-Trike (photo below) that can be loaned out to disabled people interested in cycling for everyday transport, as well as the funds to cover the insurance and maintenance of each E-Trike.
The E-Trike we want to purchase for this project costs £1900 from Jorvik. It’s not suitable for all disabled people, but it’s a beginning.
We are very lucky that we have some match-funding pledged by M&S Energy.
If we raise £1000, we will receive £1000 match-funding.
After this, match-funding becomes a competition with 14 other projects and in total, we could receive a maximum of £5000 in match funding – so if you are considering donating, please donate sooner as we might get more money from M&S!