The Metropolis of Kelowna is rolling out its first adaptive bike program – Kelowna Information

New adaptive bike program

The City of Kelowna has unveiled a new adaptive bike program, making trails and specialized equipment for those with mobility issues, more accessible.

The program, new this fall, is a barrier-free activity and an “affordable way” to access specialized equipment designed for people with permanent disabilities.

Included within the program are two bikes with adult trailers and six adaptive tricycles available through funding from Community Living BC and the Ministry of Children and Families.

“Kelowna is the perfect city to be able to provide a service like this with an incredible bike and trail system that we feel everyone should be able to explore, despite any physical limitations they may have,” said Tom Myatt, quality services analyst with Community Living BC.

“Our goal is to help break down those barriers.”

The idea for the program came from Karen St. Pierre whose experience and perspective on the challenges of adaptive bike ownership, Myatt says helped pave the way.

“There are real challenges when it comes to personally owning adaptive bikes – transporting it, the cost of specialized equipment and these bikes are very heavy too,” says St. Pierre.

“This new community service will be a huge benefit for not only my son but for anyone with disabilities that is seeking that extra independence and opportunity to explore the outdoors.”

Those with disabilities looking to access the bike program can do so through the Parkinson Rec Centre. “With the PRC access pass, they get to use the bike program and multiple other programs for free. This is just a healthy extension of all our other programs that we do,” said Ali Westlund, the community recreation coordinator with the City of Kelowna.

While CLBC has provided funding to get the program off the ground, the city says it is looking for interested partners to help offset ongoing costs. For those looking to become a sponsor, click here.

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