SDOT is partnering with Outdoors for All to offer free adaptive cycle rentals for people with disabilities this summer


Summary 

  • Outdoors for All’s Adaptive Cycling Center is open for the summer! Stop by on Wednesday-Sunday through September to rent an adaptive cycle for free. 
  • SDOT and Outdoors for All’s partnership allows people with disabilities to rent a variety of adaptive cycles for free. We talked with the Lawson family about their experience renting adaptive cycles. 
  • We’re excited to support this program again so that more families can enjoy the outdoors this summer! 

Outdoors for All’s Adaptive Cycling Program is back! 

Outdoors for All offers adaptive cycle rentals for children and adults with disabilities at the Adaptive Cycling Center in Magnuson Park. This program was paused in 2020 due to COVID 19 public health concerns but it is back up and running this summer season. The rental shop is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, from now until September. 

Thanks to a partnership with SDOT, the adaptive cycle rentals are offered free-of-charge. (More on that below!) This is our second year sponsoring this program. In 2019, Outdoors for All rented out 750 free adaptive cycle and bike rides to nearly 300 different people (3 times as many as ever before!) thanks to SDOT funding and support from private donors.  

Outdoors for All has one of the largest adaptive cycle fleets in the country and is the only large-scale free rental program. Not only is their fleet large, it also has a huge variety of cycles.  

This summer, rent an adaptive cycle for free with Outdoors for All! 

Drop in Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm; now through September in Magnuson Park, 6344 NE 74th Street, Seattle, WA 98115. If you have a particular accommodation, email or call ahead: Rentals@outdoorsforall.org | 206-838-6030.  

For more information, visit Adaptive Recreation Programs with Outdoors for All.  Bring a family member or friend to ride with you! 

While Outdoors for All’s home base is located in Magnuson Park, they also have trailers that regularly transport bikes and adaptive cycles to schools, events, and programs in different parts of Seattle. This summer, SDOT is partnering with Outdoors for All to bring cycles to events all across Seattle so that people in all parts of the city can enjoy riding adaptive cycles in their own neighborhoods. More details to come! 

SDOT and Outdoors for All are working together to ensure that everyone has access to get out and enjoy the great joys of biking and adaptive cycling. 

With over 200 adaptive cycles in their fleet, Outdoors for All can find and fit a bike/cycle to match anyone’s needs. Individuals with disabilities can use: 

  • Handcycles for individuals with limited or no leg movement 
  • Three- and four-wheel cycles for those who need more stability 
  • Children’s hand and foot powered cycles 
  • Tandem cycles for individuals who want a guide while riding  
  • Standard cycles 

Did we mention that it’s free?  

Too often, biking and other outdoor gear that may fit the needs of individuals with disabilities may be too expensive for individuals or families to afford. This partnership offers an opportunity to use adaptive equipment often and have experiences that many may take for granted. This way, cycling can become a regular activity for anyone!  

SDOT helps Outdoors for All cover the cost of bike repairs and maintenance, as well as staffing and insurance. Outdoors for All also receives private donations. Our partnership began in 2019 when SDOT was trying to find a way to make our bikeshare program available to people with disabilities. Outdoors for All was just what we were looking for: they have the specialized knowledge and variety of bikes to fit people with different needs, and they’ve been doing it for decades! 

Now, we’re using the money that our bike share vendors pay for a permit to rent their bikes and scooters in Seattle, and using that money to make sure people with disabilities can get access adaptive cycles for free rentals. This has allowed us to provide more bicycling opportunities to more people, and has helped Outdoors for All replace their season pass with a free service that would better serve the community. We also require the companies to provide a low-income discount for their bike and scooter share programs operating in the city.  

If cycling isn’t your thing, Outdoors for All offers plenty of other ways for people with disabilities to get outdoors year-round! Other programs include: snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country and downhill skiing, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, youth and adult day camps, yoga, military programs, weekend excursions and custom events.  

We had a chance to have a Roadside Chat with Kim and Erik Lawson, who rent bikes from the Adaptive Cycling Center most weeks of the summer to ride with their 15 year-old son Milo. 

The Lawson family enjoying a beautiful day of biking! Photo courtesy of Erik Lawson 

Hi, Lawson family! How did you find out about Outdoor for All’s adaptive cycle share program?   

Back when Milo was in elementary school, there were bike rodeo events that took place at his school from time to time. They were a lot of fun and someone mentioned that you could rent the adaptive bikes at Magnuson Park. We decided to go check it out, and we’ve been riding ever since! It’s become somewhat of a ritual. We used to pay to have access all summer, but now we get to enjoy it for free.   

What was it like to visit the Adaptive Cycling Center for the first time? 

Before we went, we had heard about the duet bike (pictured above). We requested it so that Milo could sit in the front. He got into the duet and we adjusted the straps so that he was safe. It was pure excitement—we didn’t have any nerves at all! We learned how the weight distribution of the bike worked and were able to figure out how to have a smooth ride. We’ve used the duet bike each time we’ve gone, but we recently discovered a double bike that we might want to try. That way, Milo could sit in front and pedal.  

The staff at Outdoors for All are unbelievably kind and gracious. They know what they’re doing, have a very high patience threshold, and have always been very inviting and accommodating. Milo senses that it’s a friendly place.  

Milo riding on the duet bike in Magnuson Park. Photo courtesy of Erik Lawson. 

What does this program mean to you and your family, and for it to be free?  

The program opens up a whole world for Milo to explore that he wouldn’t have access to otherwise, and we can do it together and enjoy the shared experience as a family. It gets us outdoors and gives Milo a way to discover the park and get some exercise. We rent bikes all the time, even more so now that it’s free! For anyone thinking about trying it, I’d say 100% go check it out and give it a whirl. It’s fun for adults and special needs children. Milo loves to have the wind in his face and his smile is universal. 

Having these tools for people with special needs to use for free is such an amazing equalizer and is important for equity. This equipment is so expensive and most families have no way to afford it. It’s hard to express in words how important this is to families like us who have kids with special needs. 

What are your favorite places to ride and what other activities do you enjoy doing as a family? 

We usually bike around Magnuson Park and have taken different routes in the park. The location is great, there’s a lot to explore, and we like the routine of it. As soon as we turn into the park, Milo knows what we’re doing and gets excited! We’ve also thought about riding on the Burke Gilman Trail.  

Milo also loves to swim! We’re excited to visit our neighborhood pool, which is opening up soon.  

The Lawsons are just one of the many families that have experienced the joy of renting adaptive cycles!  

The pandemic and recovery has been incredibly difficult and Outdoors for All wasn’t able to offer the program in Summer 2020. Over time, we have become better educated about the virus and now understand that the risk of transmission is lower when people are outdoors in the fresh air. We’re excited to support this program again so that more families can enjoy the outdoors this summer! Renting a bike at the Adaptive Cycling Center is a great way for people to improve their mental and physical health and have fun for free.