A few weeks ago, an e-mail came across my desk that made my stomach sink; it said that 2019 might be the last year for one of our favourite programs, You Can Ride 2. My mind couldn’t grasp how a much needed program like this could be in jeopardy.
You Can Ride 2 was in it’s pilot year when a physical therapist mentioned it to me. When Lilly was a toddler, it became quite obvious that a typical tricycle would not work for her. Her grandparents had bought her a fancy trike with a five point harness from a box store, and she couldn’t use it. It tipped over every time she turned the handle bars.
I mentioned getting her an adaptive bike during one of our physical therapy sessions. We tried out different bikes and found one, but it had the whopping price tag of $3000! I also found out that getting funding at a young age for a bike can be hard because they outgrow them so fast. Where does that leave a parent?
You Can Ride 2 is charity under Good Will Alberta. It has an adaptive bike pool of over 150 bikes. There is a Bike Lending Program and a Learn To Ride A Bike Program. Local physical therapists donate their time to help fit bikes for children at the Adaptive Bike Fair, Bike Fitting Day, and Pick Up Day. There are also many volunteers that help make those days run smoothly.
The social media position is volunteer based. The board is also run by volunteers.
Edmonton needs You Can Ride 2. Over the years of volunteering as the social media consultant, I have learned how rare an adaptive bike lending program throughout the world. I have received comments from New York, the Middle East and Europe and each stated how lucky we are to have this program.
If You Can Ride 2 did not exist, 150 Edmonton children with disabilities would not get the experience to ride a bike. This may seem like a small amount, however before this program many children with disabilities would not have had the opportunity to ride a bike, my own child included.
Adaptive Bike Riding is a gateway for inclusion for children with disabilities. It’s a way for them to spend time with their families, and to be part of their communities. Riding a bike can also promote health by strengthening a child’s body and can act as a physical therapy activity.
How do we help this program? A person can help by Volunteering; either as a Board Member, or on Event days; by hosting a fundraiser on the program’s behalf, or by planning to take part in the St. Albert Road Race, or Ride for Refuge in 2019.
I plan to help by volunteering with social media, but I need your help with sharing the posts! Please follow the You Can Ride 2 Facebook Page, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to make sure you’re up to date with what is going on with the program!