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.
We have had the privilege of owning a variety of cycles for pedaling with our daughter, Rosie, who has profound autism and physical disabilities. We 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 our current Dutch-made side-by-side trike.
We 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. Our intent is to establish a program for outdoor adaptive cycling to be shared with others in the Madison community.
What We’re Creating
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.