One of the many great things about the adaptive bikes that I wrote about on Tuesday – JoRide Bikes – is that they are pretty affordable. Adaptive bikes can be very expensive – some cost as must as $2500! And that’s for a child’s bike that may well be outgrown. JoRide Bikes aren’t going to solve the needs of all the kids that can use adaptive bikes though, since many kids facing challenges like Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida need even more adaptations than those bikes can offer. Luckily there are a fair number of adaptive bike manufacturers out there — you can see a list and examples of the different types on my adaptive bikes page. The downside is that the bikes are pricey and while there are some organizations that provide grants or assistance, they are not that easy to find and there are a lot of hoops and paperwork to go through. One company – AmTryke – makes adaptive bikes for children and adults with disabilities and got it’s start in 1994 specifically to make trikes for their parent non-profit organization to donate. AMBUCS is a national non-profit service organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. Recently a 12-year old Chicago boy with Cerebral Palsy received a new AmTryke that was donated courtesy of the AMBUCS organization. They do not have a Chicago chapter but hope to start one soon.
Riding a bike is empowering, exciting, and for special needs kids, normalizing – you become just like every other kid who rides a bike. It’s an amazing gift.
(video courtesy of ABC 7 News Chicago)