There’s nothing like a bike ride for simple pleasure, fun, and a feeling of freedom. Now one organization is working to make that pleasure available to everyone.
National AMBUCS, Inc. got its start as a business club (the acronym stands for AMerican BUsiness Clubs) in the early 1920s. By the middle of the century, the mission had solidly shifted toward providing services for people with disabilities.
Fast-forward a few decades to the ‘90s, when pediatric physical therapist Sue Haywood had begun using a specialized adaptive tricycle to help her clients become stronger and more mobile. As is often the case, resources at her facility were limited, and each kid got only a little time on the trike each week. Those minutes were helpful, but Haywood knew that to make real progress (and have real fun), the kids would be better off having their own trikes at home.
She approached her local AMBUCS chapter with a suggestion: Why not make the trikes and give them away? AMBUCS was all over it.
As AMBUCS continued to grow, so did Amtryke. Today, nearly every one of the 144 local chapters makes and delivers trikes to kids and adults with disabilities.
There are 15 different models; some can be pedaled by hand, some by foot, and some by both. Trikes are assigned based on riders’ abilities and therapeutic needs [PDF]. The chapters work closely with physical therapists to pair kids and adults with sweet rides and to make sure they get the most out of them.
At last count, chapter members have given away more than 30,000 tricycles.
To nominate a rider in your life to the Amtryke wish list, check out the AMBUCS website.