Written by Phil Cerroni
Every kid needs a bike. It is a rite of passage hallowed by decades of summer adventures, but there are children who will never be able to ride a bike, at least not a traditional one.
Beginning with a hand pedaled tricycle welded together in a garage, the organization AmTrykes has redefined the meaning of mobility for thousands of children and adults. A tricycle that can be operated with either the hands or feet, an AmTryke improves a rider’s muscle strength, motor coordination and self esteem.
This spirit of independence went on parade July 27 at the AMBUCS National Convention at the Ft. Worth Hilton. AMBUCS from around the country gave 51 smiling, screaming, laughing and crying children shiny, new AmTrykes.
The tricycles will become the mechanism for these children to gain independence and self esteem they never dreamed of, explained AMBUCS National President, Kent Clingenpeel.
“We like to think that these bikes are designed to be therapeutic trikes, and the kids don’t really realize it, because they’re just having so much fun because they can actually be mobile on them,” Clingenpeel said. “They’re getting the physical therapy…plus they’re also getting the emotional aspects out of this.”