ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The COVID-19 pandemic canceled bike day last year. Dozens of children with special needs have been waiting for the event for two years.
These personalized bikes offer children more than mobility and freedom.
“Oh well beyond that. It’s mental health to be outside, ”said Melanie Casali, whose son was fitted with a custom bike.
The boy named Antonio has cerebral palsy and has outgrown his first custom bike.
Cycling helps the 5 year old to relieve painful muscle spasms that otherwise cannot be avoided.
“And unfortunately his bike was too small, so we couldn’t use it, we had to do different movements, but it’s not the same as actually being on the bike,” Casali said.
On Saturday, 88 children with special needs were fitted with custom bikes at Royal Oak Beaumont.
“This is done for every rider,” said Hal Honeyman of Bike Rack.
For decades, Honeyman has been making custom bikes for children with special needs.
“These handlebars can be adjusted,” Honeyman said.
Her son Jacob was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child. He dedicated his life to helping children like his son.
“When he was little he was a hat-trick, so we started to figure out how to get Jacob on a bike, so once we did it snowballed,” he said. .
Sponsored by the Children’s Miracle Network, each bike costs between $ 500 and $ 5,000 and takes an average of six weeks to build.
Bella Jordan got ready for her second bike on Saturday.
“I can take her to the baseball game and to Nana’s house,” Jordan said.
The 11-year-old was delighted to join her family for bike rides this summer.
“Follow my father, follow my big brother. She’s wanted to ride with Dad for a long time, I can’t get rid of her now, ”Jordan said.
A few children with special needs were able to bring their bikes home on Saturday. Most will have theirs on July 17th.
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