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Check out the Adaptive Cycle Expo at the Pennsylvania Active Transportation Summit

Updated: Jun 27

Kennett Outdoors joins other agencies to bring a wide range of adapted bikes for the public to check out .

Kennett Outdoors is excited to be joining other agencies to help host an Adaptive Cycle Expo at the York Revolution Ballpark in York pay on Tuesday June 25. This event is being held as part of the Active Transportation Summit, part of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center's annual conference. This conference brings together speakers from across the Commonwealth to share success stories in revitalizing our cities and towns. Kennett Outdoors took the lead in assembling a catalogue of bikes to be featured at the expo

Active transportation is one way to get healthy outdoors for work and play - and for some, it may be their only way! But many face barriers to enjoying the outdoors related to health and disability. Yet-to-be published findings from the most recent statewide survey undertaken as part of Pennsylvania's efforts to update its outdoor recreation plan confirm that almost 1 in 5 respondents report living with a disability or chronic health condition, and that at least half of these individuals report that these conditions are the most significant barrier they experience to enjoying the outdoors. Given that the respondents here are more likely to be active users of outdoor recreation, we can expect the prevalence of health- and disability-related barriers to be even higher in the general population.

Adaptive cycles can help to overcome these barriers in many different ways. Some individuals (like my daughter Margot) do not (yet!) have the control or skill to ride a bike independently, and so some adaptive options allow them to be a passenger. This includes a specialized bike trailer (like that offered by Wike), a pedicab (like the Triotaxi), or an adapted tandem where the co-pilot rides in a recumbent position (like the Hase Pino Steps pictured to the right). Kennett Outdoors is bringing all of these the to expo! Still others will benefit from the Van Raam Wheelchair bike, which allows a wheelchair user to roll right on to a platform.

The option of electric assist has opened biking up to all those who have the skill and control but might lack the confidence and endurance to bike longer distances. The addition of electric assist can make all the difference managing hills with a passenger. And as we age, we find that an assist can take enough stress and worry out of biking to make the experience a real joy again. This allowed my wife and I to feel comfortable exploring the D-Day beaches and surrounding countryside on a multi-day bike trip.

Other options can help cyclists overcome other kinds of barriers: a trike (like the Lectric XP E-Trike featured at the Expo and pictured right) can help someone who struggles with balance, while a handcycle can help someone who has lost the use of their legs. We are also excited by the Smartbrake, which can assist someone with limited strength to operate hydraulic handbrakes with minimum effort. Even better, it includes a remote control that allows a caregiver to operate the brake from up to 90' away.

We are also excited to share our bicycle-based delivery system involving Margot. Electric cargo bikes are commonplace in most cities, but adding a passenger to the cargo appeared to be just too taxing.... until we were able to adapt an Urban Arrow Tender (also featured at the Expo). Margot and her aide now use this bike (pictured left) to pick up and deliver everything from books to food to compost around our small town of Kennett Square.

Our experience biking around Kennett Square has revealed the next barrier: the lack of bike lanes and bike friendly infrastructure. Current models of bicycle level of traffic stress suggest that there is a sizeable proportion of aspiring cyclists who would consider cycling on paths and roads as long as these are not too stressful. With enough improvements to our bicycle infrastructure, we can imagine a time when bikes might really begin to replace cars. In fact, this is what has happened in Paris following the increased bicycle use during CoVid - a new report now suggests that more people in Paris travel by bicycle than by car. Hopefully we do not need another pandemic to make the kinds of changes we all know are long-overdue.

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