Team Humanity and the Gliders

It is hard to be both a misanthropist and a campaigner. When I was at university I had a dim view of mankind (there’s a reason why academics choose to opt out of society), but since I started Cycle Lifestyle I’ve met so many inspiring people seeking to improve the world, I've changed. Knowing that there are others out there doing their charitable and enterprising best is emboldening. It makes me feels like I’m a member of Team Humanity – in both senses of the word ‘humanity’.

I recently met team member Joe Mulcahy. His story began when his grandson, who suffers from Dyspraxia, was offered some innovative advice by a medical professional – to acquire a balance bike. Balance bikes are basically bikes without pedals; just like on the earliest form of bicycle, the rider is propelled along by pushing off the ground, one foot after the other.

Being able to touch the ground is really helpful when learning to balance, but with most balance bike manufacturers only catering for toddlers, Joe struggled to find a model suitable for a school-age child. In the end, he found an American company manufacturing ‘Go Glider’ bikes for the 5-10 age group. Riding one of these led to a ‘phenomenal’ difference in his grandson’s life, helping him integrate with his peers and develop confidence.

Realising that many more children with Dyspraxia would benefit from a balance bike, Joe set about creating GlideBikes, the only company in Europe selling the complete range of Gliders. This range includes a model, for teenagers and adults, that can be converted to a pedal bicycle. The gliders are equipped with footpegs so that riders can rest their feet while balancing; due to clever design, this can be achieved at speeds as low as 1.5 miles per hour.

Glidebikes are now working with the ‘Heel and Toe’ charity which supports children with Dyspraxia and Cerebral Palsy. Joe wants to see Gliders introduced into all schools, to help children of all ages and abilities learn to balance. An inspirational goal. Good luck Joe.



Thanks Ben

Thanks Ben

Brilliant article thank you so much and wish you well with all your endeavors

Kindest regards

Joe M

Very interesting article on

Very interesting article on Glidebikes. I think my two and a half year old grandson might start to become a true cyclist with a Glidebike.

Joe's story is reminiscent of

Joe's story is reminiscent of numerous other tales of innovators and philanthropists that have contributed to the history of cycling (many of which I learnt about by reading your book, Ben - thanks!). I think this is a case of "one small step for team humanity, one giant leap (/triumphant glide) for the individual". That first glide must be truly empowering. Nice one Joe.

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