It’s no secret that Coastal Adaptive Sports touches the lives of many people with disabilities in the Grand Strand area. This organization takes pride helping those with different abilities be able to partake in activities and adaptive sports such as basketball, adaptive bike rides, surfing, kayaking, and many other fun games and events.
In our recent blog post we talked about the Coastal Chairmen wheelchair basketball team and how they mean business out on the court, but today we’re going to switch gears and talk about another great sport that Coastal Adaptive Sports offers: adaptive cycling.
We touched base with Luke Sharp, the vice president of Coastal Adaptive Sports, to learn more about the adaptive bike ride program.
Hi Luke! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Coastal Adaptive Sports?
Luke: I think it was 2012 when my friends and family and I started Adaptive Surf Project. At the time there was an organization called "Coastal Adaptive Sports and Recreation". I joined the board for that group, and, eventually, we wrote by-laws and applied to be a nonprofit under the name of "Coastal Adaptive Sports" with Brock Johnson as the President and me as vice-president.
So I know Coastal Adaptive Sports offers a variety of sports for those with disabilities, but I’ve heard great things about the adaptive bike rides. How did those bike rides start?
Luke: Originally, we purchased one handcycle, and I started meeting this guy named Jorge Medina once a week to ride the handcycle. Then, a student of mine and I modified the hand-cycle to make it a double handcycle so that individuals with higher level spinal cord injuries than Jorge could cycle. So, we had a rider on the back peddling to help the hand-cyclists. We did this for an individual name Chris Skinner. Each week more and more individuals who happened to have a disability came to ride and we kept getting bikes and modifying them. Eventually, we partnered with Worksman Cycles in Conway and NYC, and started buying double bikes and seats.
Now we have more than 50 individuals at each ride who have diverse needs for cycling. The best thing to do is check out our Facebook Page see the photos. We are quite a parade of 50 plus cycles riding around the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex on Sunday afternoons. The City of North Myrtle Beach has partnered with providing a place for us to store our bikes.
Who can sign up for one of the adaptive bike rides? Are they free?
Luke: It's free and open to anyone. We need fit people to help. I would like to have two runners running along beside each cycle to help them get up hills and keep them from falling. Also, I'm in need of bike mechanics to donate time to fix bikes.
The adaptive cycling events allow any one with any type of disability to be able to enjoy a fun day of cycling with friends and family! Coastal Adaptive sports have a variety of bikes including handcycles, side-by-side tandem tricycles, and other types of bikes including multi-wheeled cycles with different kinds of seats.
Adaptive cycling events are held at various times throughout the year, so be sure to check the calendar on the cycling page to see when the next event will be taking place. Each bike ride will be held at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex at 150 Citizens Cir, Little River, SC 29566.
Wanna get involved? You may also volunteer to help out with a Coastal Adaptive Sports event by clicking here.