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Via Francigena, barrier-free

Feeling the wind on the face riding Aspassobike’s inclusive bicycles

di Roberto Dalla Pellegrina

Traveling, discovering new places, getting lost in the hills, plains, villages and cities full of stories, getting in touch with people even just for a while, talking to people you will probably never meet again, taking a break to listen to unspoiled nature, sharing rides deep into breathtaking landscapes with old and new friends, keep laughing even after you’ve cycled for hours under the scorching sun… that’s life and that’s the dream coming true.

Insuperabile, group team (1)
Insuperabile, group team

Since Riccardo was born, with all the related difficulties, I begun to give a new meaning to all aspects of daily life, even the simplest ones, as go cycling. This new awareness made me found PedalAbile, an association aiming to give all special people like my son the opportunity to experience moments of sport, carefree, new encounters and experiences, riding a bike.

Through PedalAbile, I met AspassoBike and its special and inclusive bicycles, that give everyone the opportunity to experience the sensation of the wind in your face! There are models for all needs: vehicles transporting people in wheelchairs, side-by-side tandems, adult-child tandem or two adults with 2 or 3 wheels or even models for autonomous people with special needs. With our special ways of transport, we left for Insuperabile, a journey along the Via Francigena leading to Rome in audience with Pope Francis.

Flavia and her mother Ornella were also part of our group. Flavia is an autistic girl suffering from ligament laxity, who finds playing sports essential, to keep her muscles in training and to drain her energy. When she tried AspassoBike’s Fun2Go model, it was love at first sight! It is a side-by-side tandem that always makes her stay by her mother’s side, that is essential as she doesn’t speak. There is also the pedal assist, with a switch that allows Ornella to choose whether and how much Flavia can contribute to pedaling, a precious help to her muscles. Same love at first sight for Fun2Go, the one of Max and his blind daughter Beatrice, they were part of our journey too.

With this ride through Italy, we want to prove that disability is just one of the many differences that can distinguish one individual from another and that the world must keep its spherical shape, just like the wheels of our bicycles, to turn in the right way. Like our friends of AspassoBike, we really think that the wind in your face is a feeling that everyone should experience, no exception!

Aspassobike is a social mobility project about the transport of people with different disabilities. Italia Slow Tour users can get a 10% discount on their vehicles, both for individuals and operators. More on italiaslowtour.it/aspassobike

Italia Slow Tour

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