Inclusive cycling arrives in Ipswich - could cycle-powered cinema be next?

Chris Blomeley from the Ipswich Bike Project

Chris Blomeley from the Ipswich Bike Project - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Inclusive cycling is the latest addition to the Ipswich Bike Project, which is thriving on the Waterfront. 

Launched last June, the cycling scheme aims to promote sustainable transport and make it affordable for people living in and visiting Ipswich to pedal past the sights instead of drive. 

Christopher Blomely, director of the project, said: "There's been a big push from central and local government for local cycling and walking plans and we're getting some amazing support from Suffolk County Council. 

"It's helping us transform the area we've got into a cycling hub. 

"We're not a bike shop, we're a community cycling project, which means we go all out to engage people to come see us if they want to hire a bike, learn to ride, buy second-hand. 

"Because we're not a shop we do need to raise funds to stay afloat and diversifying is a big part of that. 

"The latest exciting addition is inclusive cycling, which I'm so looking forward to."

Side-by-side tandem bike at Ipswich Bike Project, which allows people with disabilities to enjoy a bike ride

Side-by-side tandem bikes can allow just one person to steer and pedal - Credit: Ipswich Bike Project

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The project has tandems and wheelchair cycles, meaning that non-sighted and less able-bodied people can visit the Waterfront hub with a companion and know they'll be able to enjoy a bike ride. 

Mr Blomely continued: "Lots of other towns have inclusive cycling projects, so it's about time Ipswich did. 

"And it's right to match it with the Waterfront, which is a nice, safe area, as well as being beautiful with plenty of cafes and places to stop." 

And a cycle-powered cinema could be the next addition to the project, with Mr Blomely considering setting up a projector on a night at the beginning of summer and lining up an environmental film that people will power by pedalling.

A wheelchair bike from Ipswich Bike Project, which allows people with disabilities to enjoy a cycle ride with a companion

The inclusive cycle range will mean even more people in the community can enjoy the Ipswich Bike Project - Credit: Ipswich Bike Project

Half-term has seen an uptick in the number of families stopping by to take advantage of the bike hiring services - and the director is looking forward to the summer months. 

"We're absolutely ready for summer. 

"Adults can come and hire a bike, we have kiddie trailers or bikes for children, our inclusive offering is ready to go, and it's all affordable and easy. 

"After a tough few years, the sunshine is here."