May 7th Adaptive Cycling Event a Success!

The Confluence Health Foundation hosted partner, Outdoors for All, for a free adaptive cycling event open to the public on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee. Outdoors for All is a Seattle-based non-profit focused on enriching quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through outdoor recreation. They brought a fleet of adaptive bikes to the event, including tricycles, recumbent bikes, hand cycles, side-by-side tandems, and even an adaptive mountain bike so that Confluence Health patients and members of the public could try adaptive bikes for free. Adaptive bikes are modified to fit the needs of riders with different abilities.

This event was an opportunity for individuals to test ride a variety of bikes on the Apple Capital Loop Trail. One participant that joined the event had not been able to ride a bike outside since she was injured in 2018.  She tried two different styles of bikes including a recumbent bike with three wheels that allowed her to peddle from a seated position. Because the bike is lower to the ground and balanced, she was able to safely ride without assistance. By the end of her ride, she was beaming. To her, riding an adaptive bike “felt like freedom.”

The event was coordinated by Erin Keeley, an Occupational Therapist at Confluence Health’s Central Washington Hospital (CWH). She and several of her colleagues from the CWH Rehab Department and Care Management were available to assist riders with selecting a bike and getting them set up to ride.

One of the factors that make events like this special is the connection between the rehabilitation therapists and the participants that came to try out the bikes, many of whom were their patients. Some patients had been working with therapists for a long time. However, being in a clinical environment is only part of the rehabilitation journey. These clinic-to-community events help reinforce goals and skills created in a clinical rehab setting and open doors to new and exciting activities that promote health, wellbeing, mobility, confidence and independence.

“We live in such a beautiful area with great access to outdoor recreation for able-bodied residents, but we have a significant lack of options for those with physical, cognitive, or sensory impairments.” Keely said.  “These community-based adaptive cycling events are important for our region and our patients because they help to improve access to outdoor recreation for people living with a disability. They ultimately improve the health and quality of life for participants and allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation, regardless of their ability level.”

The Foundation is working with the Confluence Health Rehabilitation Department to bring even more adaptive recreation opportunities to the region. The next adaptive recreation event will be held on June 4th from 11 – 3 p.m. at Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee.

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