As kids, most of us never thought twice about jumping on a bike for the first time - nevermind the subsequent false starts and wobbly beginnings. But for many children with physical and developmental difficulties, access to the exhilarating feeling of cycling is simply not possible.
With thanks to the efforts of our dedicated riders and generous supporters, 10 excited youngsters are in the midst of receiving their very own customised bike, so they too can experience the joy of riding. A portion of funds raised from Chain Reaction's Womens 300 and Victorian 7-day 1000km Ride were donated to Solve Disability Solutions, which facilitated the bikes via the Freedom Wheels program.
Freedom Wheels' remarkable customised bike system can account for 280,000 possible combinations of bikes and specialised support components to handle all manner of challenges. In order to obtain a Freedom Wheels bike, the child must first attend a clinic where an occupational therapist assesses their specific requirements and provides them with a bike prescription. The bikes are then built in the workshop by the Freedom Wheels volunteer team, ahead of a final fitting.
One of the kids to receive a bike was 5yo Hunter who has cerebral palsy. Not only will the addition of outrigger wheels, postural support and special seating and pedals enable Hunter to join his family on weekend rides, he now has a fun way to improve his strength, balance, fitness and self confidence. Others enjoying a free-wheeling festive season include Bridget and Penny (both with Downs Syndrome) and Owen (Autism) who are all absolutely thrilled to be engaging with a new social activity, along with the many other benefits.