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Blog Post - 02/05/2017
There’s no doubt about it – some children with disabilities need individually customized adaptive bikes. These kids have significant medical challenges and cannot hold their trunk upright or pedal due to their disability. However, there are many kids out there who just haven’t yet mastered the skills needed to ride independently but don’t need the intensive support of an adaptive bike.
I know because I had one of those kids. My son has an intellectual disability and he took longer than most to learn any new skill – bike riding was no exception. We practiced for hours with him and enrolled him in a summer bike riding camp with little success. He was simply too afraid to pedal fast enough to gain his balance. It wasn’t a physical limitation it was the same anxious response that he
So I did what any other parent would do: I started researching options – there were several:
First, there were the adaptive cycling companies like
Then there were the programs like
There were also many other possibilities like side-by-sides & tag-a-longs. Both good products but they also had their downsides & limitations for our particular situation. We also tried a tandem but it was just too darn hard. My son would not pedal leaving me to haul both of us around while he leaned this way and that laughing and then decided that it was funny to tickle me (grrr). I ended up sweaty and grumpy – not the two dwarfs you want to resemble when you are trying to engage in a “fun, family activity.”
In the end, FATWHEELS was the best solution for my son. They were the “silver bullet” that really helped us get him on a bike. He LOVED that he got to go to the local big box store and pick out a “cool bike” like the other kids in the neighborhood. He LOVED that the bike was stable and didn’t lean or tip. He also LOVED that he could go at his own pace and “teach” himself to be comfortable on a bike.
In return, I LOVED that there was an easy and affordable solution to a problem we faced.
EVERY KID DESERVES TO RIDE BIKE
Just as autism is a spectrum disorder, so is the array of choices in adaptive cycling. There really is no one size fits all solution. The bottom line is that every kid deserves to ride a bike and every parent deserves to see them ride. Each child is different & thankfully there are many options out there.