Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot Day Brings Out Handcyclists

For over twelve years, people have come from all over Massachusetts to ride adaptive bikes on the Norowottuck Rail Trail in the Connecticut River Valley. Today, despite the heat, many riders were enjoying the trail, which is blessed with a lot of shade and a gentle breeze that sweeps across the farm fields in the valley. Even with temperatures above ninety, riders were having a great time.

Bob Adams of Northampton, Mike Kennedy of Millbury, and Steve Stolberg from the Worcester area were all out in the late afternoon when I stopped by. All three come regularly to enjoy the 8 mile trail between Amherst and Northampton on handcycles. Bob and Mike ride the basic upright touring model and Steve likes the performance version, low to the ground with razor thin tires.

Through the rest of the summer, DCR's Universal Access Program offers an adaptive cycling program on Fridays from 11am to 4pm. Come try out a tandem, recumbent, handcycle, trike, or even a two wheel bike. Many of the bikes have modifications to support kids and adults with a wide array of specific needs. The adaptive cycling program is based at 8 Railroad Street in Hadley, and if you like ice cream, you'll find it nearby at Sophia's Polish Deli, along with several lunch options.

The program is facilitated by All Out Adventures of Easthampton and the Center for Human Development Disability Resources of Springfield, both excellent providers of adaptive recreation. By combining fleets of bikes from all three organizations, a wide array of vehicles are available for use by participants. To register for the cycling program call 413-527-8980. On site, you'll meet wonderful staff from all three organizations who will make sure you have a fun and safe experience.

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