School’s out for summer, and getting outside and riding bikes is on the mind of many children. After all, riding a bike is a quintessential milestone in childhood. However, many children with orthopaedic conditions, such as cerebral palsy, are physically unable to ride standard bikes. Additionally, adaptive bikes cost upwards of $1,650, which is cost-prohibitive for most families.
Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City works with local Proud Supporters to fund adaptive bikes for patients, with at least one bike giveaway a week. Adaptations range from hand pedals and secure seat belts, to larger seats with a back and lower center of gravity. Cycling benefits include a sense of independence, lower extremity strengthening, cardiovascular exercise, weight management, balancing skills and fun – making this a wonderful extension of an individualized therapy program.
Spencer, age 15, is one of the dozens of patients who received a brand new adaptive bike last year thanks to hospital donations. Now, with an adaptive Rifton bike of his very own, he is able to operate a bike independently for the very first time. “The independence it’s given him has been amazing and wonderful,” said his father, Justin. “He loves it.”