"Nothing else gives you the sense of powering your own life forward."
Isabelle's discovery of the power of wheels was a slow one. It was only at university when she "came out" as a disabled person. She talks about her journey, inspired by several inspiring women, both from history and in her own life, to take up her hand cycle.
Now she is Director of Wheels for Wellbeing, an award-winning charity based in London that supports disabled people to discover or rediscover cycling. Established in 2007, the charity works with around 1,300 disabled and older people each year, supporting them to discover that they can cycle and helping them grow their cycling ambitions.
As an urban commuter handcyclist, Isabelle hopes to bring an understanding of cycling to disability groups and of disability to cycling groups. She initiated #BeyondTheBicycle, an alliance with parent cyclists and cargo cyclists who encounter many of the same issues as disabled and older cyclists, and has become a leading influencer in the field of inclusive cycling. She is a regular attendee of the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, an elected member of the London Cycling Campaign’s Policy Forum and appointed member of Sustran’s London Advisory Board.
Her charity continues to work with cycling campaigners and professionals to ensure they realise disabled people do cycle. In 2017 Wheels for Wellbeing wrote the ground breaking Guide to Inclusive Cycling, an invaluable resource to anyone planning, designing, funding or campaigning for cycling infrastructure and facilities. This guide can be downloaded from www.wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk/guide