Introduction to Para-Cycling

Para-Cycling was started in the 1980’s and was introduced into the Paralympics in 1984 in New York. Since the 1980’s, Para-Cycling has been developed in order to include more people with a wide range of impairments and medical conditions. It can either be done as a general recreational activity where individuals can use a range of adapted bikes, or individuals can also compete at club level, nationally and internationally, again either using bikes, handbikes, tandem and three-wheeler trikes.

Para-Cycling Events

Para-Cycling can be done on four different types of bikes:


  1. Normal two-wheeler bikes (for people with and without Cerebral Palsy who are able to balance on a two-wheeler bike),
  2. Three-wheeler trikes (for people with and without Cerebral Palsy who are unable to balance on a two-wheeler bike),
  3. Handbikes (which are for people with complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries, who are unable to balance on a two-wheeler bike),
  4. Tandem bikes (only for people with visual impairments).

Para-Cycling has:

  • Track events, including:
    • Tandem Sprint (only for people using tandem bikes)
    • Team Sprint (only for people using two-wheeler bikes),
    • Time Trial (only for people using two-wheeler bikes),
    • Individual Pursuit (only for people using tandem and two-wheeler bikes)
  • Road events, including:
    • Road race (for people using all types of bikes)
    • Road time trial (for people using all types of bikes)

Eligible Impairment Types

People with Cerebral Palsy


People with visual impairments


People with spinal cord injuries

Classification Classes including Cerebral Palsy athletes

Para-Cycling is open to individuals with Cerebral Palsy, however they would need to be able to balance on a two-wheeler bike or a three-wheeler trike. The classifications for cyclists with Cerebral Palsy starts with C1 and goes to C5 for individuals on two-wheeler bikes, and starts with T1 and goes to T2 for individuals on three-wheeler trikes.


The para-cycling classifiers look at how an individual’s condition (including the tightness in their legs, balance and mobility of their limbs), effects their ability to cycle a bike or a trike. The more a condition causes the individual difficulty to cycle, the lower the classification will be for a cyclist.


Under Development


Forms of Recreation

 Para-Cycling can be none competitively and can be inclusive to all. None competitive Para-Cycling is commonly termed as ‘Inclusive Cycling’ and involves all different shapes and sizes of adapted bikes such as hand-bikes, trikes, hand-cycle tandems and bikes with specialist passenger wheelchairs seats mounded at the front of the bike. Bikes are suited to different individuals’ needs and can be used to increase social skills as well as physical and mental health. Though the awareness of Inclusive Cycling may not be very good globally, organisations such as Inclusive Cycling International (, Australia Cycling (, We Are Cycling UK ( and Disabled Sport USA (, may offer advice and guidance for individuals which want to get involved.


Under Development

Recreation Photos