We are Wheels and Wheelchairs; a group of London-based skaters, rollerbladers, and wheelchair users who go out together on a regular basis.
How it All Began
It all started back in 2012 when a French group of rollerbladers and wheelchair users called Mobile En Ville challenged themselves to skate from Paris to London for the 2012 Paralympic Games. When they arrived, many London skaters were inspired by them to start something similar in London and that is how Wheels and Wheelchairs was born.
The wheelchair users are pushed in sports wheelchairs with a specially adapted third wheel which is added to the front. This raises the two front wheels to stop any wobble when traveling at speed. It also has an attached brake so we are able to stop and slow down when needed.
Saturday Morning Skates
We meet most Saturday mornings in Battersea Park, London, where we skate with Easy Saturday Skate which is a group of beginner to pro skaters who go around the park doing 3 laps. This is done at a pace that everybody is able to keep up with. It is such a great environment as everybody is nice and friendly to each other. It has also been the place where other skaters have become interested in what we do and then joins us as regular pushers. We are really grateful for these skaters who volunteer to push our wheelchair users as without them they would not experience the thrill and joy of wheeling around at high speeds.
Joining Wheels and Wheelchairs has given me and Evan a fun, inclusive activity to do together and we’ve met some amazingly inspirational people who have made us feel very welcome.A parent of a wheelchair user who has recently joined us,
Weekly Street Strolls
Before the lockdown, we also took part in the weekly street strolls, which are marshaled group skates around the streets of London. These skates are slightly faster and on a warm sunny summer day, they can have several hundred skaters. These strolls start in Hyde Park, London, where we go around carefully chosen routes through the city and going past the Capital’s famous landmarks such as the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. These skates are led and organized by the London Friday Night Skate & Sunday Stroll.
Long Distance Adventures
But it doesn’t stop there, as we have done joint events with Mobile En Ville and Rouli Roula Pour Tous (a Belgian skate group) where we have longer adventures. In 2014 we skated from Paris to Brussels, in 2016 we did Paris to Strasbourg and in 2018 we organized the London to Brussels skate. This year we were meant to be doing a huge challenge. It was due to set off from Evian in France, then go through to Geneva in Switzerland, and end up in Lyon, France. It was a disappointment that it had to be postponed until next year but in 2021 we will be conquering it!
Marathons and More…
We have also participated in the Paris and Berlin Inline Marathons, and in the UK we have skated the Bath to Bristol cycle track, Brighton to Saltdean, and a lot more.
Ultimately we do this to have fun and we hope to continue doing so for many years to come!
- Visit wheelsandwheelchairs.co.uk for more information on Wheels and Wheelchairs. Also, make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
- For more information on Mobile en Ville visit mobileenville.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
To find out about Rouliroula Pour Tous go to rouliroula.be and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
- Contact Big Wheel Blading for any questions, suggestions, story ideas or to contribute content.
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