Mountain biking's popularity has already spread well beyond the adrenaline-junky teenagers who once dominated the trails. Now, the team at Stromlo's Handlebar cafe want that reach to extend even further.
The cafe located at the base of Mount Stromlo runs a hire service renting out mountain bikes, e-bikes and jump bikes. Its owners have set up a fundraiser to purchase two mountain bikes to loan for free to people with disabilities.
At $30,000 each, the adaptive mountain e-bikes from Canada do not come cheap.
Modified to be ridden by people with a range of needs, including people restricted to wheelchairs, the e-bikes are built with front steering and suspension and designed to be safe on mountain bike trails.
Should the GoFundMe meet its $60,000 target, anyone wishing to rent a bike will pay a one-off fee to receive training from an external Canberra company, rideTECHNICS, and then book the bike for a day for free.
Handlebar owner Rowan Cumming said the bikes are built with a front end allowing riders to lean without tipping over, which means turning is quite intuitive.
"And they're only the width of a handlebar so they can get around most mountain bike tracks without needing any adapted trailworks, which is what makes them so unique," Mr Cumming said.
He said as mountain biking lovers their aim was to make cycling accessible to everyone.
"We love introducing people to the sport, it can be a real life changer," he said.
"We want the ability for people who wouldn't normally be able to get in the forest to get in the forest."
Mr Cumming said Stromlo Forest Park was in no way the domain of just crazy, young men these days.
"You see just as many women and young kids and older people out on the hill," he said.
Handlebar will look to purchase children and adult harnesses. They kicked off fundraising with an initial $6000 donation.
The GoFundMe campaign had reached close to $8000 in its first couple of weeks.
Mr Cumming said the sense of freedom that comes from riding a bike was something worth chasing for all adults, but especially worthwhile for people with restricted mobility.
"It's always a lot more fun on the trails with some friends so we thought we'd aim for two so we can get people out on the trail together," he said.
ACT Minister for Disability Emma Davidson said it was great to see the community help create a more inclusive Canberra.
"It shows the power we have as individuals, organisations and communities to make a difference and build a better normal," Ms Davidson said.
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