Biking freedom for those with disabilities in BOP

Advancements in e-bikes, trikes and hand-cycles, riding “off road” has become more achievable to the masses, rather than a lucky few. Image: Supplied.

In recent years the advancement of electric-mountain bikes and trikes has made it possible for those with a physical disability to return to mountain biking or to try it for the first time.

AdaptMTB are hosting an adaptive mountain biking give-it-a-go day at the Rotorua Redwoods on July 31.

Rotorua local and AdaptMTB board member Andrew Burt says “the sports and care organisations, equipment suppliers and Rotorua community have all jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this event since we first started to make plans to hold it in the Rotorua Redwoods.

“Mountain Bike Rotorua is providing e-mountain bikes, Parafed Bay of Plenty and Parafed Auckland along with Melrose chairs and Trikes NZ are all bringing a huge range of exciting adaptive bikes and trikes for people to try.

“We’ve also had experienced adaptive riders offer to bring their own gear along so that others can check it out. You definitely get the feel-good factor when you have such an outpouring of support.”

AdaptMTB board member Kim Littlejohn says “Rotorua Lakes Council have been really supportive of us holding this event and are allowing us to use the Redwoods under the Sails venue which is a permanent marquee set up in the forest, an absolutely stunning and unique location.

“The marquee will offer our beginners some shelter from bad weather while they get comfortable with the equipment, when they are ready they can head out on the trails with a couple of support riders.

James Littlejohn of AdaptMTB rides an e-mountain bike, which gives him the ability to ride any of the trails his non-disabled friends ride.

“Mountain biking has many benefits for a disabled person like myself, exercise of course, but mainly it's given me the chance to get outdoors with family and friends just like before my accident,” says James.

James Littlejohn now has the opportunity to ride any of the trails his non-disabled friend's ride. Image: Supplied.

Rotorua Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, who is a keen mountain biker himself, will be attending to offer his support to the event, participants and volunteers.

The AdaptMTB board are grateful for Dave accepting their invitation and would also like to invite other locals to come and see what adaptive mountain biking is about.

Kim says as well as this event being about giving it a go, it’s also an opportunity to spread the word and educate the general public about adaptive mountain biking and the many benefits it offers those who are living with a disability.

“Locals can come by and visit and see what it’s about, or else people can follow us on Facebook or Instagram by searching AdaptMTB.”

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