ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled bike day last year. Dozens of special needs kids have been waiting two years for the event.
These individualized bikes give kids more than just mobility and freedom.
“Oh way beyond that. This is mental health being outside,” said Melanie Casali, whose son was fitted with a customized bike.
The boy named Antonio has cerebral palsy and has outgrown his first customized bike.
Cycling helps the 5-year-old relieve painful muscle spasms that otherwise can’t be prevented.
“And unfortunately his bike was too small so we couldn’t use it, had to do different movements but it’s not the same as actually being on the bike,” said Casali.
On Saturday, 88 special needs kids were fitted with customized bikes at Royal Oak Beaumont.
“This is made for each rider,” said Hal Honeyman of the Bike Rack.
For decades Honeyman has been building individualized bikes for special needs children.
“These handlebars can be adjusted,” said Honeyman.
His son Jacob was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child. He’s dedicated his life to helping kids like his son.
“When he was little he’s a triplet so we started to figure out how to get Jacob on a bike, so once we did that it just snowballed,” he said.
Sponsored by the Children’s Miracle Network each bike costs anywhere from $500 to $5,000 and on average and takes six weeks to build.
Bella Jordan got fitted for her second bike on Saturday.
“I’ll be able to take it to the baseball game and Nana’s,” said Jordan.
The 11-year-old was excited to join her family on bike rides this summer.
“Follow my dad, follow my big brother. She’s wanted to ride with daddy for a long time, I can’t get rid of her now,” said Jordan.
A few special needs children were able to take their bikes home on Saturday. Most will get their own on July 17.
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