Access to secure, on-street cycle parking can have a big impact on people’s lives, making cycling more feasible, easier and more convenient. However, conventional cycle parking solutions often cannot accommodate larger non-standard cycles such as handcycles, tricycles and recumbents. This creates a barrier to usage and ownership for non-standard cycle users who do not have convenient private storage space.
Working in partnership with Lambeth Council, Cyclehoop provided a specially adapted Bikehangar to accommodate a recumbent tandem bike for the Charles family and their son Isaac, who has Down’s Syndrome.
Cycling is a great activity for Isaac, combining exercise, socialising and the outdoors. He and his father Tagore ride a tandem bike with a recumbent front seat made by specialist German manufacturer Hase, which Tagore acquired with help from Wheels for Wellbeing and London Recumbents. The bike gives Isaac an unobstructed view ahead and allows the pair to communicate while they ride.
Prior to the Bikehangar, the bike was stored indoors, taking up valuable space in the kitchen. Tagore had to carry the 20kg+ bike up and down a flight of stairs, making each outing a difficult undertaking.
How the project started
As early adopters of the Bikehangar scheme, Lambeth council boasts a fleet of over 400 units. The council website hosts a form for residents to request residential cycle parking. The team included a field for users to select the type of bike they wish to store: standard bicycle, cargo bike, hand cycle, recumbent, side by side, tandem, tricycle and other. Tagore filled in the form and began a dialogue with the Lambeth cycle parking team. The team then passed the requirements to Cyclehoop.
How Cyclehoop adapted the Bikehangar
Having received the details and measurements of the bike, our design team got to work specifying the Bikehangar adaptations. The most important factor is to understand the specific needs of the user; in this scenario Tagore can operate the door and load the bike in and out of the Bikehangar. Further adaptations such as ramps or platforms were not required. The standard floating rack arrangement was removed and a high-security ground anchor with Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond accreditation was chosen to provide a suitable locking point for the bike’s low slung frame. For the unit’s standard cycle users, a high density rack module provides support and secure locking points. The adapted Bikehangar was installed by the Cyclehoop team in March 2023.
The adapted Bikehangar makes a big difference to the Charles family, Tagore no longer has to lift the bike up and down the stairs, risking damage or even injury. The bike doesn’t occupy space in the kitchen and the process of going out for a ride is now substantially easier and safer, leading to more frequent outings for Isaac. The two Bikehangar spaces for standard cycles are rented to other residents on the street.
“The adapted Bikehangar has transformed our family’s cycling experience. No longer burdened by the logistical challenges of storing and accessing our recumbent tandem bike, we can now enjoy the freedom and joy of riding together more conveniently. It has brought us closer, allowing us to explore the world around us with ease. We are grateful to Cyclehoop and Lambeth Council for making this possible.”
– Tagore Charles
At Cyclehoop we believe the benefits of the bike should be available to all. We’re delighted to help Isaac and Tagore enjoy cycling more conveniently and more often. We hope the adapted Bikehangar will inspire similar projects in the future. We would like to express our thanks to the Charles family and the cycle parking team at Lambeth for their help.
“At Wheels for Wellbeing we know that the right secure cycle parking solution is key to owning your own cycle, especially if it features bespoke adaptations and/or bears a large price tag (both are often the case when you’re a disabled cyclist). I am therefore thrilled to see that the Charles family have been provided with an accessible cycle hangar, on their street, enabling them to cycle as often as they wish.
This was thanks to the council putting in place a simple mechanism for residents to indicate what type of cycle they ride (not assuming that everyone rides a bicycle) and discussions with the provider of cycle hangars who made the modifications requested by this particular family. This is true accessibility in action: a system which works for the majority AND which is also ready to adapt when needed. Well done Lambeth Council and Cyclehoop!!”
– Isabelle Clement – Director, Wheels for Wellbeing
As part of Lambeth Council’s new Kerbside Strategy, we have committed to ensuring that residents live no further than 100m from a secure cycle parking space by 2030. It is important that secure cycle parking is available to residents of all abilities, and so it was great to have the opportunity to discuss with Tagore how we could accommodate the recumbent bike that he and Isaac ride. Cyclehoop made the required adjustments and installed the Bikehangar in March, just in time for a summer! We look forward to installing further adapted Bikehangars for residents as the programme expands over the coming years.
Alex Watson Active Travel Officer, Lambeth Council