Earlier this year, our Bike Share Program partnered with Outdoors for All, one of the nation’s largest fleets of adaptive cycles, to provide people with disabilities FREE adaptive cycle rentals in Magnuson Park! The partnership ensures more people have access to the amazing cycles Outdoors for All has to offer, and now, we’re celebrating the 100th rider, Tyler!
All summer, a portion of our bike share permit-generated fees will go to Outdoors for All, allowing the organization to better serve the community through their Adaptive Cycling Center. Adaptive cycles include:
- Handcycles for individuals with no or limited 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
- Hand and foot cranked cycles exercising your whole body
- Standard cycles
Tyler was the program’s 100th rider!
Tyler is blind which prevents him from safely biking, but with adaptive bikes, he can be as mobile as anyone and enjoy the outdoors. He and his mother sat down with us to share more about the impacts of this program.
How did you learn about this program?
“I have been coming to Outdoors for All since I was 14 when it was called Ski for All. I came for a bike ride with my Mom recently and found out that it was free! It was a nice surprise. Because of SDOT’s sponsorship, I was able to ride with my Mom around Sand Point. It’s great to be able to take a bike out for as long as you want without worrying about how much it would cost. When I got back to work, I told all my co-workers and friends about the program because they all have mobility issues.”
Tyler works at The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., an organization that produces an array of machined parts and plastic molding for various manufacturers including the U.S. Military.
Because of SDOT paying for something that was $25 per hour, per person, we were able to enjoy an activity that we had stopped doing because it was expensive. We didn’t have to hurry; we could not only take our time to enjoy the ride but, but we were able tostop for a picnic, and enjoy the beauty around us. We will use this program for as long as it’s running.- Jan, Tyler’s Mom
How many times have you come back to use adaptive cycles this summer?
“I was back last Saturday with a friend and will continue to use the program. As a member of the United Blind of Seattle chapter of Washington, I am excited to tell the whole group about how you can go and get some exercise, meet some friends, and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest.”
SDOT funding this program really ensures that people in the community who may not have financial access, to really enjoy outdoor activities for as long as they want and as many times as they want. What a gift to somebody with a disability that you are giving them to spend a few hours outdoors. – Jan, Tyler’s Mom
What does it mean to be able to have a program like this?
“It opens doors to be able to see what you can do. I love being outdoors and trying new things. Feeling safe is the most important thing and I do on these bikes. I am excited to share more about programs like the one SDOT provides to Outdoors for All where folks can get access to trying new activities safely.
I like to tell people not to be afraid to try new stuff. This program helps people do so.
The worst thing about being blind is that people think you’re stupid or they completely ignore you. When you have a disability, your world gets smaller because you feel hindered by whatever that disability is. I work hard not to confine myself and through sharing information about programs like this, we can ensure that everyone, no matter what their situation has access to do things in the Pacific Northwest.”
Tyler is a guiding light for ALL members of the community but especially folks with mobility issues.
He recently collaborated with Gratitude Sailing and took a group of 40 people with mobility issues on a sailing expedition. He’s flown a glider, a Cessna plane, been in a hot air balloon, and loves roller coaster rides. He has a degree in culinary arts and loves to cook.
We are inspired by Tyler’s fearlessness, his overall love of life, and his leadership. Thank you for reminding us of the power in being fearless and for pushing us to move out of our comfort zone!
All adaptive cycle rentals will be FREE for children and adults with disabilities through September 30, 2019. Visit the Adaptive Cycling Center today!