New bikes make cycling accessible to over 80 students with disabilities
May 11, 2017
Students across Metro Vancouver with disabilities now have the opportunity to discover the joy of cycling thanks to an education program run by HUB Cycling.
A $5,000 grant from GoodLife Kids Foundation has enabled HUB Cycling, who work to improve cycling through action, education and events, to buy new adaptive bikes which will be used by approximately 84 youth across the region.
Last year HUB Cycling’s Bike to School program provided on-bike cycling training to over 4,000 kids in schools across 11 cities, but due to a lack of equipment were unable to fully the meet the needs of students with disabilities. The grant has allowed the charity to purchase three new adaptive bikes which meet the needs of various students with balance and mobility issues. With the addition of accessories such as foam and straps, the riding experience has become a much more comfortable one for all students.
Speaking about the program, HUB Cycling Education Manager Alyshia Burak said: “This grant from GoodLife Kids Foundation has made a big difference to us. We previously had one old, adapted bike which was only suitable for people with certain disabilities. Not every student in a classroom was given the chance to join in our cycling programs, but this funding is changing that. It has allowed us to expand our program to reach a wider range of students, and increased our capacity to get the word out to school teachers and educational assistants to build awareness about the possibilities adaptive bikes bring to their students. We are now able to shape our program so we can ensure everyone can take part.”
The new bikes have already been used by several schools and are receiving a positive reaction. Sarita De Araujo, whose son Jared used one of the trikes at his school, said: “It was an experience that Jared will not forget, he is still talking about it and we’re looking into buying him an adaptive bike of his own.”
“It meant the world to me that Jared was able to participate in the program with all his classmates”, De Araujo added.
HUB Cycling’s Bike to School program combines in-class lessons about rules of the road and best practice with on-road and school-ground practical rides, and is delivered by a team of experienced instructors.
This spring the instructor team received training from Paralympian Nathan DeWitt, who said: “I was very excited to be given the opportunity to work with HUB Cycling to develop an adaptive cycling aspect into their school program. The introduction of adaptive cycling will help create awareness and provide children with an opportunity they may not have been aware of.”
HUB Cycling hopes that many of the students who have taken part in the education program will also take part in Bike to School Week which takes place across Metro Vancouver from May 29th - June 2nd, 2017. Schools can sign up for this event at bikehub.ca/btsw.
Note to editors
Photos of Jared De Araujo using an adaptive bike can be downloaded here.
About HUB Cycling
HUB Cycling's mission is to get more people cycling more often in order to build healthier, happier and more connected communities.
HUB Cycling is a charitable non-profit that has spent nearly two decades removing barriers to cycling in Metro Vancouver, while cultivating the health, environmental and economic benefits that active transportation can bring. HUB Cycling has educated thousands of people, motivated thousands more, and championed improvements to make cycling safer and more convenient. For more information, visit bikehub.ca.
About GoodLife Kids Foundation
GoodLife Kids Foundation is a registered charity with a vision for every Canadian kid to have the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life. To-date, GoodLife Kids Foundation has impacted nearly 250,000 Canadian children through physical activity opportunities supported by the GoodLife4Kids School Program and the GoodLife Kids Grant Program. GoodLife Fitness covers 100% of our administrative and operational expenses so that every dollar raised will make the biggest impact on the lives of Canadian kids. To learn more about GoodLife Kids Foundation's programs, go to goodlifekids.com.