A range of different conditions can stop people from being able to access the outdoors. From mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, to mobility issues related to stroke, heart conditions, visual impairment or learning disabilities, there are any number of obstacles preventing people from being able to propel themselves on their own adventures.
Ride Out Ride On (RORO, for short) is a Bristol-based service dedicated to providing the freedom and movement of a bike ride to those who would otherwise be unable to do so themselves. By taking clients out on a specially designed tandem – the Hase Pino – we can offer anyone the freedom of movement and joy of cycling.
How it works:
Clients are placed on the semi-recumbent front seat of the tandem, leaving the steering, balancing, braking and gear changing to our experienced back-riders. The service can offer a range of modular attachments that can accommodate a wide range of conditions.
Braces can be attached to either or both pedals to support weak or unstable legs. The bike is equipped with dual-kickstands meaning clients do not have to worry about the balance or stability of the bike, even when it’s not in motion.
Children’s cranks can be put on the bike meaning anyone of any height, size or age can ride. The bike is also designed with a freewheel in the front crankset, allowing clients to pedal as much or as little as they want.
To date, clients have included those with stroke, autism, loss of sight and anxiety. For some conditions – Parkinson’s disease, and stroke, for example – there are documented health benefits relating to the re-connection of neural pathways that come with the rotational and repetitive motion of pedalling. For others, the impacts are no less powerful: riding a bike, having fun, and being immersed in the great outdoors, can build self-confidence, recover lost strength and stamina, or improve balance.
Who we are:
Holly, the founder of RORO, has always been invested in the issues of access, distribution and fairness. Volunteering as a guide-runner for the visually impaired, studying BSL, and working as an inclusion worker for young people with medical and behavioural needs have, in some way, all been about ensuring everyone has a chance to do what they love, irrespective of the obstacles life may have put in their way. In 2017, she decided she wanted to take this mission and introduce it to her first true love: cycling.
As someone who has cycled through countries around the world (Cuba, Georgia, Sardinia, Sicily, Spain, France, Scotland etc.), and running local guided cycle tours for Bristol company Cycle the City (sight seeing tours, food tours, women of Bristol history tours) Holly knew first hand the benefits that cycling can offer to one’s health, wellbeing and enjoyment. Knowing that there were people unable to unlock these benefits, she decided to set up RORO, to make sure as many people as possible – especially those who could most benefit from it – could get on their bikes and ride.
The first steps:
The service consists of the following components. Firstly – a free diagnosis session will be organised, in which a rider will visit the client to assess what particular needs they have, and what adaptations need to be made to the tandem to accommodate their particular height or other. Anyone can get in contact to discuss getting involved with RORO – either for themselves, or on behalf of a loved one or a patient. Routes will be discussed, and clients can explain how far, and for how long they expect to want to ride for – typically an hour or two’s cycling. The first session can then arranged.
Routes can either be selected from the portfolio of traffic-free routes RORO have developed from National Cycle Network and Sustrans routes or, if preferred, the client can be taken on whatever journey, aiming for whatever destination the client likes. Then the adventure can begin.
Depending on start point of the adventure, the location of the client, and the availability of their own transport, we can either meet at the start of the route, or if needed home pick-ups and drop- offs can be arranged. If loved ones, parents, partners or carers want to join in on the adventure, they are of course most welcome to do so. If they do not have access to a bicycle, then RORO also has a number of Temple Cycles bikes that can be hired.
An hour’s cycle costs £48, or a two hour session £90. If home pick-ups are required, the time taken to pick up and reach the start point is not included in the session’s cost. All RORO’s riders are fully insured, and the routes have all been risk-assessed.
For more information, please feel free to get in contact Holly on:
Phone number: (+44) 7823 461 892