About Madison Adaptive Cycling
Having a disability should not mean a person is denied access to every aspect of life. We know that regular participation in cycling can lead to improved physical health and mental well-being, greater independence, and a sense of belonging to a larger community. Cycling, particularly tandem cycling, gives differently-abled people a chance to engage with others.
Madison has become one of only five cities in the nation to reach platinum-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community, according to the League of American Bicyclists. As of 2019, the city has 61 miles of off-street paths and protected bikeways and 154 miles of bike lanes and bike boulevards.
Brian McNurlen, the founder, has had the privilege of owning a variety of cycles for pedaling with his daughter, Rosie, who has profound autism and physical disabilities. They have owned a pedicab, a motorized side-by-side recumbent trike, a 4-wheel side-by-side recumbent with a custom-installed electric motor, and their current Dutch-made side-by-side trike.
During this time, they have encountered a number of people interested in these unique vehicles either for themselves or someone they know with a disability. However, when they learn how much they cost they become discouraged and rule out any possibility of having the experience. Madison Adaptive Cycling’s intent is to establish a program for outdoor adaptive cycling to be shared with others in the Madison community.
What We’re Creating
Our goal is similar to Twin Cities Adaptive Cycling and the Bay Area Adaptive Cycling Center. We will maintain a “library” of adaptive bikes that will be made available at different locations, allowing people with differing physical needs to match with a bike that can work for them. We’ll also provide co-riders to people who need a partner as well as consultation on adaptive bicycle choices and configurations.
Those with physical disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, cystic fibrosis (CF), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), injured veterans, those who are visually impaired, and those with cognitive impairments such as autism, Alzheimer’s, or anything that might limit someone’s ability to ride a bike independently.
Another audience consists of the family members, friends, and loved ones of those who are differently-abled, who wish to ride together, to get exercise, and enjoy the outdoors together.
In The News
Cap Times: Madison organization looks to build ‘library’ of bikes for riders with disabilities
WMTV:Two Madison nonprofits work to create more inclusive cycling community
We’re raising funds to purchase more bikes and equipment for our launch in summer 2022.