ActiveParents had the opportunity to chat with Chantale Sindrey and Paul Millar, founder, Rolling Horse, about the centre, and their new Buddy Bike.
“Our mission is to provide affordable bicycle sales and service while also training youth, adults and communities in the basics of bicycle use, maintenance and repair.”
~ Rolling Horse
ActiveParents: Paul, what drove you and Rolling Horse to purchase a Buddy Bike?
Paul: Early this spring a family with three school aged boys came to purchase bikes from Rolling Horse. The family left with bikes for dad and the two oldest sons, but, due to a visual impairment the youngest son was left only to dream about the thrill and freedom of a bike ride. So, when we were offered funding through Healthy Kids Community Challenge to purchase a Buddy Bike to make available on a loan basis, we had this young boy in mind. Now with Buddy Bike we can truly fulfill our mission to make cycling safe and affordable for all, including this boy and others with special needs. As we say, no one gets left behind!
“The idea of adaptive equipment came from the community when Healthy Kids team was completing the community needs assessment. It was noted as one of the barriers to get kids active. Throughout further conversations with the neighbourhood action teams a strong theme around biking presented itself. Rolling Horse was already at the table so we approached them with the idea and it took off from there.”
~ Jen, Healthy Kids Community Challenge
ActiveParents: Chantale, can you explain what Buddy Bike is and how it differs from a standard bike?
Chantale: Sure, the Buddy Bike is the alternative inline two-person bicycle that puts the smaller rider in the front seat while the rear rider controls the steering. The Buddy Bike has a lower front seat so both riders can enjoy the view. It is shorter in length than a typical tandem bike, which makes it easier to store and transport. The Buddy Bike is CPSC safety-rated for up to 380 pounds; making it the ultimate family bike that can be enjoyed by riders of most ages and abilities.
AP: Who can ride a Buddy Bike?
C: The features of the Buddy Bike offer adaptive outdoor recreation and therapeutic activity to riders with cognitive or physical disabilities who may not be able to ride a bicycle safely on their own or who do not have the strength to pedal a bike alone. The Buddy Bike lets riders with down syndrome, autism, sight impairment or other disabilities to join in on the thrill of riding a bicycle with the whole family.
AP: So all kids can now take part in the family bike ride?
C: The Buddy Bike is for ALL cyclists with special needs, not just kids, It is CPSC safety-rated for up to 380 pounds, so two adults can ride together as well. For smaller riders who can’t reach the pedals, optional fold-out foot pegs offer a place to rest their little feet out of the way of the pedal path.
AP: How do families find out more about the Buddy Bike?
C: At no cost, you can borrow our bike for a few hours or a few days, just like a library! We have community trails out our Rolling Horse front door or you can take it with you and return it in time for the next family to borrow! Just give us a call at (289) 799-0154 or come into the shop at 650 Plains Road East, unit 2. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Or stop by the Buddy Bike Demo Day tomorrow! View the event details here.
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