Grant awarded for training
Situgyan Consulting has been awarded a small grant from Cycling UK (Scotland) under the Shift programme. With this money, we will offer a series of workshops in February and March 2022. This is a pilot, and we hope to improve our training capacity and roll out this training across Scotland.
Training Autistic Cyclists
We will recruit a small cohort of autistic people who want to become confident cyclists. Our plan is to teach them, and the people who work with them—carers, family, allies, buddies—both general cycling skills and the specific skills needed to make shorter cycle journeys as an autistic person. This will include route planning, preparing for sensory and social stressors while cycling, and learning to communicate clearly while cycling. At the end of the course, each autistic cyclist and their supporter(s) will be able to choose appropriate short cycling routes and ride them safely together.
For autistic people, learning to cycle is an important step to independent living. Yet how we cycle is different. For us, the noise of a nearby dual carriageway, a long (and stinking) queue of cars and lorries, ambiguous signs, inaccessible or poorly designed cycle paths, or incomplete routes that require traversing dangerous intersections can all be confusing at best. At the same time, the sheer joy of autistic cycling is incomparable.
Scotland’s transport network is not designed for cyclists, let alone disabled cyclists. Yet we are key to the green transformation and Scotland’s evolution in the face of an appalling environmental crisis. Motorists’ and oil company lobby groups insist that because we are disabled, we are dependent on others and on automobiles—we need to be driven around, and we thus become a passive excuse for clinging to an outdated, polluting mode of transport. We can transform these ableist narratives by becoming skilled and confident cyclists and advocates.
The training will take place in late February and March of 2022. The first session will be a basic cycle skills session, and the second session will be a workshop delivered by Situgyan Consulting Ltd. and Autism Understanding Scotland. After the second session, we will expect participants to complete a practical exercise: choose a route, map it, and ride it. Finally we will have a longer final ride along a sheltered route, such as the Deeside Way, for a celebratory picnic. If you are interested, contact us and we will get back to you in the new year.