Cr. Amanda McNeil was recently elected to Whitehorse City Council. For someone who has a lifelong vision impairment, what’s truly special is Amanda’s wish to get back on a bike again, after many years, as part of her fitness campaign.
Knowing that WATAG is all about advocating to Councils and other authorities to provide infrastructure to enable people of all abilities to become more active and healthy, Amanda asked us for help. She would love to be able to ride a bike to the Council Offices, even to Council meetings, but has totally lost confidence after many years. So she asked whether we would help restore her confidence and be her ‘guide’ to ride there safely.
Whilst Amanda is vision impaired and cannot drive, she can ride a bike if accompanied by others who can ensure she is safe. Imagine the freedom this will give to her.
We were very happy to oblige and firstly helped her iron out the nervous ‘wobbles’ – we wanted to be sure she could remain upright! Then it was an appropriately paced and very safe ride of 3.5km so we could get that lovely smile “I DID IT” at the entrance to the Whitehorse Council offices as shown in the above photo.
Then it was a 3.5 km ride back. A more confident rider now, Amanda crossed very busy Whitehorse Rd, on her bike, at the traffic lights to enter the car park opposite with a lane to the nearby shared path. Then it was a lovely ride along the rail trail back home.
Well done Amanda. We think that 7 km is a pretty amazing “first” ride.
Let’s hope Amanda can realise her aim of riding to a Council meeting sometime soon, and convince some other Councillors to be her riding guide to get there.