MANKATO – SMILES Center for Independent Living will host an Adaptive Bicycle Expo to answer questions and offer test drives of bicycles. It will take place 2-5 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Kato Moving & Storage, 417 Poplar St., Mankato.
The expo is a kick-off to regular bicycle rides that SMILES is planning through the summer, concluding with participation by consumers in the Mankato River Ramble on Oct. 8. Kato Moving & Storage is providing access to a large inside area for bicycle test drives. It will overflow to an adjacent parking lot, weather permitting.
SMILES has bike vendors planning to attend and is working in conjunction with SHIP (Statewide Health Improvement Partnership) and Greater Mankato Bike & Walk Advocates to create a “lending library” of bicycles that could be used by people with disabilities who don’t have their own bicycle. Adaptive bicycles can be prohibitively expensive.
According to AmeriDisability, “For riders with disabilities, adaptive bicycles can boost physical benefits, such as increased joint motion, muscle movement, circulation, core development, coordination and balance. And for emotional gains, adaptive bikes can help foster inclusion and a sense of independence, among other benefits.”
Many people with disabilities have never had access to riding a bicycle because of the expense. SMILES is gathering information and is seeking funds to purchase bicycles that can be utilized by people with disabilities of all ages.
For more information about the event, contact Howard, Anna or Jenn at SMILES, (507) 345-7139.