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Adaptive bike fleet comes to Coupeville

CeCe Black demonstrates the use of a hand cycle, one of many types of adaptive bicycles that will be on display during Tour de Whidbey. -
CeCe Black demonstrates the use of a hand cycle, one of many types of adaptive bicycles that will be on display during Tour de Whidbey.
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Give one a try

Tour de Whidbey, the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation annual fundraising bike ride, has added two new activities to the Sept. 27 event.

The first is a free adaptive bike demonstration. The foundation is partnering with Outdoors For All, a non-profit group dedicated to improving access to recreational and fitness activities for people with mobility challenges and disability.

Outdoors For All will be bringing one of the largest fleets of adaptive bicycles to Coupeville for the Tour de Whidbey. Children and adults will be able to test out adaptive cycles such as hand cycles, recumbent trikes, side-by-side recumbent cycles, sidewinders, riftons, self-propelled, stick steering and other cycles.

The theme of the event is “You can do it!” Rehabilitation therapists from Whidbey General Hospital will be on hand to show participants how these adaptive cycles can overcome age, strength, flexibility and endurance limitations as well as disability challenges.

Marie Shaw, a hospital physical therapist who is coordinating the volunteer therapists said, “We are thrilled to be a part of this event. Many of our rehabilitation patients feel they cannot ride a bike or participate in fitness activities as a result of injury or illness. We hope to show them they can.”

The Whidbey General Hospital therapists will assist with fittings and assessments.

Continuing the 2008 theme of “You can do it!” the second activity being added to the Tour de Whidbey is a 10 mile route that begins and ends in Coupeville. The route is an opportunity for beginners, folks that want to ride as a family and for those who just want to take a leisurely ride through stunning Whidbey landscapes to participate in the Tour de Whidbey.

“We can’t all make it up the hills of North Bluff Road or the challenging 50 or 100 mile routes,” says Laura Blankenship, executive director of the foundation. “In fact for many of us the moderate 40 mile route is too much. Even I can do a level 10!”

The new ride begins at the Coupeville Elementary School, across the prairie out to the Keystone Ferry, returning to the school along the level grades of Engle, Wannamaker, Fort Casey and Terry roads. Riders may register for the 10 mile ride as individuals or as a family for a reduced fee. Visit tourwhidbey@whidbeygen.org to register.

The traditional, longer rides starting at the Greenbank Farm will remain the mainstay of this year’s Tour de Whidbey.

The mission of the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation is to support Whidbey General Hospital and community health endeavors through public awareness and the development and management of charitable resources.

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