A cycling pilot project has come into place to accelerate Angus’s emergence from lockdown.
In the first event to be held at one of the area’s country parks since their re-opening after four months, Monikie Country Park staged the first family bike bubble session under a new scheme to increase mobility for all ages and abilities.
It will see bikes made available for children and adults to ride for free, including tandems, side-by-side and wheelchair bikes.
Angus Alive leisure trust has received funding from the Blazing Saddles organisation to roll out the programme in the area.
Blazing Saddles is an all-ability mobile cycling hub administered by FABB Scotland (Facilitating Access and Breaking Barriers) to provide the fun sessions promotion inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream activities.
The cycling explosion during Covid-19 lockdown has led to increased calls for improved cycling infrastructure and opportunities and Angus Alive officials hope the scheme will encourage more people to continue cycling, or take up the hobby.
Laura Smith OBE, disability and inclusion lead for Angus Alive said: “We are extremely grateful to Blazing Saddles and very excited about this pilot project that will give more people in Angus access to bikes and the opportunity to cycle, especially those who may previously have been excluded from participating in cycling for various reasons.
“There are so many personal and environmental benefits that come with cycling.
“It’s a great activity and it is hoped that the project will help people break down any barriers that some people might have faced getting into this sport.”
Angus Alive chief executive, Kirsty Hunter said the inaugural Monikie session was an important event for the organisation since it marked the start of re-opening facilities following the March 18 shutdown.
“After 17 weeks of connecting with our customers via Angus Alive at Home following closure of our venues due to Covid-19, it’s exciting our team can start getting activities up and running again for the local community to enjoy in person,” she said.
“In addition to our family bike bubble pilot we’re trialling a new click and collect service from Arbroath Library which will be rolled out to more of our libraries over the coming weeks.
“We are having to adapt our services and working practices to define our new normal. It’s essential we take all the necessary steps to reopen safely in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues.”
Further family bike bubble sessions are scheduled for Monikie during this month.