My local news had a heartbreaking story of a boy with special needs who had his adaptive bicycle stolen the day after Christmas. The boy’s family had saved up and gotten the bike for their son as a Christmas present and then some asshole steals it the very next day! The story both broke my heart and pissed me off.
Then, in an amazing act of generosity, a local businessman stepped up and bought the family another new, $1300 bike for the boy who has Cerebral Palsy, Autism and other disabilities.
It seems that there are still good people in this world!
However, the entire story got me thinking (again) about the subject of “special needs bikes.” My friend Cheryl wrote a post about it not long ago when she was looking for bikes for her daughter, Jillian.
We were looking through catalogs and chatting about it and I never understood WHY they cost so much money.
The boy in the news story above’s bike only cost $1300.00 but, a look through Adaptivemall.com and you can see that bikes made for these precious children can go as high as $4000.00 (FOUR THOUSAND BUCKS!).
Because the seats are shaped different and they have a few extra nylon strap seat belts? Because they have straps on the peddles to help steady the feet? Perhaps it’s the extra brake?
I don’t think these are expensive adaptations.
Why should a child with cerebral palsy or another physical disability be screwed out of the freedom of riding a shiny red bike? I can go to WalMart and buy my kids a “regular” bike for $60.00. Why does a few extra straps cost thousands more?
I’m so happy that this boy will still get his bike. The generosity of strangers can still be an amazing thing. While I try not to focus on the fact that the person who stole the bike is a douche, he is probably just another special needs parent who can’t afford to buy his own damn bike.