She has gotten so strong and can now pedal the bike all by herself. We are still working on steering but she’s getting there. The bike has helped increase her strength so much. Thank you so much for allowing her the freedom to ride a bike independently.

Strength, Confidence, Inclusion

I always knew there was an athlete in me.
— Katie LeBlanc

In 2008, the McLindon family donated our first adaptive bike to a young boy with hydrocephalus, who desperately wanted a bike of his own - just like every child. Since then, we have rallied a network of extended family, great friends, dedicated therapists, compassionate donors and people just like you to give away over 200 bikes in twenty-seven states.


At first thought, providing a special needs child with an adaptive bike may seem like a tangible way to give the child freedom and enjoyment.  However, after conversations with dozens of families of these children we have realized these bikes mean so much more.

Strength

Many of the children who receive these adaptive bikes spend time in physical and occupational therapy doing all the things asked of them. Many parents and therapists report that the few minutes they get to ride a bike in therapy, their treat for working hard at all the other parts, is their favorite time. The children do not necessarily view the bike riding as therapeutic, but it is. When the children are able to get their own bike to take home it opens up the opportunity for hours of additional exercise, building key muscles, core strength and coordination skills. Some parents have reported that in the months after getting a bike, their child has made significant developmental progress.

Confidence

Success is defined differently for each child. For some children success may be measured as one rotation of the pedals, for others it may be making it to the end of the driveway or even a lap around the block. But some children, after mastering their adaptive bikes and growing their physical strength, have started to participate in competitive events and even triathlons.  However far a child may power his bike, we have seen numerous instances of these children building confidence and beginning to expand into other activities such as wheelchair basketball, tennis and dancing. These bikes instill a sense of confidence and accomplishment in these children, and push them to expand their communities.

Inclusion

No one wants to be left out.  No one. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching brothers, sisters and friends tooling around on their bikes, recipients of McLindon Family Foundation bikes are able to join in the fun.  These bikes help the children to build social skills, friendships, and life long memories for themselves and their families.