The Believe It Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to include children with physical challenges in the lives and experiences of their typical peers, on Friday announced Believe It Bikes, a citywide adaptive bike program for children with physical disabilities.
The new program will launch Sunday, Oct. 22 at Síclovía, a free event sponsored by the YMCA of Greater San Antonio that turns major city streets into a safe place for people to bike, exercise, and play. The adaptive bikes will be available to the public beginning Monday, Oct 23.
“Through the Believe It Foundation’s strategic partnerships with the YMCA of Greater San Antonio and San Antonio Bcycle, we are excited to introduce Believe It Bikes and demonstrate to our city how we can go beyond accessible to inclusive with a simple activity like bike riding,” said Andrew McAllister, founder of the Believe It Foundation, who has cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair his whole life.
“I understand children with disabilities often miss out on social and physical activities that many take for granted, like riding a bike. Not only is riding a bike a fun activity for children of all ages, it offers significant health benefits for children with physical challenges. Having access to an adaptive bike allows these children and their families to socialize and participate in recreational activities with friends and other families.”
Through an exclusive partnership with San Antonio Bcycle, a public bike sharing program with a network of 500 on-demand bicycles at 63 stations throughout San Antonio, The Duet, a bike with a wheelchair component that will fit almost any adult and child, will be stored in “Believe It Bikes” lockers.
The Duet will be available to use for at the San Antonio Zoo Bcycle and the Roosevelt Park Bcycle stations. The cost is $15 for a six-month membership. Reservations will be available online via the Believe It Foundation website.
A training session is required before checking out the bike for the first time. The first training sessions will be available at the Believe It Foundation's Reclovia, or activity zone along the route, at Síclovía on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“We are delighted to be in partnership with the Believe It Foundation to help bring adaptive biking to San Antonio,” said San Antonio Bcycle Executive Director JD Simpson. “San Antonio has a vibrant biking community and providing adaptive bikes to our citizens will allow even more people to enjoy this fun, healthy and recreational activity.”
All families of children who would benefit from riding an adaptive bike are invited to get a sneak peek of the bikes at Believe It Foundation’s Reclovia at Broadway Street and Jones Avenue during the city-wide bike event that is expected to draw more than 70,000 people. With the Believe It Foundation’s mission of inclusion in mind, the organization, along with partners like Kinetic Kids and the South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports (STRAPS), will provide opportunities for children to try the adaptive bikes first-hand, talk with physical and recreational therapists and participate in other recreational activities such as wheelchair basketball. Families with children with special need will have access to free parking in a lot at 801 Broadway St. (off of Broadway Street between 8th and 9th streets).
“The YMCA is excited to support the Believe It Foundation and the resources that they are providing our community,” said the organization's Communication Director Stephanie Jerger. “We are honored that they chose Síclovía as the place to unveil their adaptive bike program and are grateful that they are bringing the first ever adaptive Reclovia to Síclovía."
In addition to The Duet adaptive bike, the DCP 16 from Freedom Concepts, an adaptive three-wheel bike for children and young adults, will be available for use at two Bike World locations. To make a reservation, click here.
The Believe It Foundation will also partner with Kinetic Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides sports, recreational, and educational programs to children with special needs and their families, to host regularly scheduled bike workshops throughout the year where the DCP 16 and other adaptive bicycles will be available to ride free of charge. Dates for the bike workshops are forthcoming.
“Kinetic Kids is thrilled to be included in Síclovía this year," said Kacey Wernli, co-founder and Co-executive Director of Kinetic Kids. "We look forward to supporting the Believe It Foundation’s new public bike sharing program to allow all children and adults the opportunity to explore our great city.”