By Melissa Sheil
BREAKING into the world of mountain biking may have some hurdles but thanks to a Kalamunda not-for-profit, being a disabled young person is no longer one.
Heading the charge for youth disability access in sport, Break the Boundary announced the arrival of Australia’s first adaptive off road mountain bike for children last week.
Built specifically for smaller people, the bike is powered by hand-cycling and has three wheels, adjustable leg rests and back support to fit children with various physical disabilities.
Nine-year-old Asha Hilton was thrilled to be the first to trial the bike, her spina bifida diagnosis making it difficult to use a standard mountain bike and the adult adaptive bikes slightly too large for her.
“I’m excited to ride through the puddles and go over the bumps fast,” she said.
“The big bike was a bit hard but this one is made perfectly for me.”
Asha’s mum Alison is looking forward to being able to go on family bike rides with her daughter.
“This opens up a world of opportunities for us as a family,” she said.
“She’s been looking forward to this for a while.”
The adaptive kid’s bike is one of three in the world and the first one ever in Australia, having been specifically created in Colorado at a cost of $7000.
Break the Boundary chairman Andrew Liddawi said the journey to get the bike has been long but was worth it to empower young people with physical disabilities to be able to go to places they thought were inaccessible to them.
“Of all the technology we have seen over the years, this has to be one of the most exciting as it opens up the door to our younger population,” he said.
“We would love to create more of these and get them out into school’s but we shouldn’t have to be paying $7000 for a kid to access the outdoors.
“If more people knew about how worthwhile it is to have a kid have a whole new non-flat surfaced world open up to them, we could start a campaign.”