, HI — Disabled Veterans Find Healing and Connec4on Through Cycling
Oahu, Hawaii – There is an incredible sense of exhilaration felt while riding a bicycle. The wind on your face, sweat on your brow, and a slight burn in your lungs as you push hard, coast and feel free.
Chelsea Elder | Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Disabled Veterans Find Healing and Connec4on Through Cycling
Oahu, Hawaii – There is an incredible sense of exhilaration felt while riding a bicycle. The wind on your face, sweat on your brow, and a slight burn in your lungs as you push hard, coast and feel free. For veterans with physical disabilities cycling not only provides that exhilaration but it also provides healing, connection, transportation, and greater wellness. Though getting into adaptive cycling can be challenging if you do not have the right equipment, adaptions and knowledge of how to begin, which cycle and setup is right for you, where to go to purchase an adaptive cycle, how to maintain your cycle or where and who to ride with after that.
Adaptive Adventures is a 501c3 nonproﬁt who has been helping to ensure veterans with physical disabilities have access to adaptive cycling for 22 years. Beginning August 18th, Adaptive Adventures in direct partnership with the VA Paciﬁc Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) will launch an ongoing sustainable adaptive cycling program to get disabled veterans out and cycling together throughout the island of Oahu. The program will be provided regularly by trained volunteers and community partners utilizing a mobile cycling trailer ﬁlled with handcycles, recumbent trikes, tandem cycles and more. Further, the program will foster a community of inclusive riders and provide mentoring opportunities for veterans looking for connection and purpose to train people with similar disabilities, including some opportunities for youth and civilians at special events throughout Oahu. The program will focus on helping veterans to achieve greater independence, including support in acquiring their own equipment, improving overall quality of life for the veterans and their family and providing camaraderie in an inclusive community.
Adaptive Adventures National Cycling Manager will be leading the eﬀort along with a team of staﬀ, veteran mentors and a slew of community partners. Chris Wiegand emphasized the importance of programs like adaptive cycling for veteran health and wellness stating, “ Not only are we providing an opportunity for veterans to get oﬀ the couch and engage with others in similar life circumstances, but we are providing them an opportunity to laugh, play, train and connect with nature in a way that many of us resonate with. Nearly everyone has rode a bike at one point or another. For some of the veterans attending our program is the ﬁrst /me they have ridden a bike post-injury and for some the ﬁrst /me since they were a kid. It’s ok to feel like a kid again, while helping each other grow beyond their, oftentimes deﬁning disability or illness.
There are so many therapeutic beneﬁts to being outside, pedaling hard and riding with what becomes Ohana”.
One of Adaptive Adventures past veteran participants stated, “It was awesome for me. These guys with Adaptive Adventures, they are the best. I’ve got PTSD, a spinal cord injury, 36 year veteran and this is the ﬁrst day I felt like I had some freedom. I thank these guys from the bottom of my heart. Get your butt up and get out here and come get with them”. If you are a veteran interested in getting involved in the program or a community member interested in volunteering or supporting contact Adaptive Adventures at info@adap/veadventures.org or visit their website at AdaptiveAdventures.org.