How Red Star Riders is Helping Kids of all Abilities Ride a Bike
Do you remember your first bike? I do. It was purple, had a flowered banana seat, purple and white fringes coming off of the handlebars and, of course, training wheels. I loved that bike and remember riding it all over the neighborhood—falls and all. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles along with Red Star Riders, feel that every kid deserves that same experience regardless of his or her ability. In fact, we feel that getting to ride a bike is a rite of passage for every child. This is how Red Star Riders was born.
Who are we?
Red Star Riders is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that helps fundraise and fit kids of all abilities for adaptive bikes. It is a chapter of a larger nonprofit organization called Ambucs, which has made adaptive bikes affordable, functional, safe and able to accommodate all levels of ability. The Red Star Riders branch at CHLA was started in 2011 by a group of therapists. Since then, our branch has raised enough money to get bikes for over 200 CHLA patients. Its goals are to enhance quality of life, improve self-confidence, improve physical health, improve social interaction, promote independence, and support children and their families.
What are the benefits of riding a bike?
There is nothing like the exhilaration and freedom of riding a bike with the wind blowing through your hair, but there are many health benefits as well.
Riding a bike can improve or help:
- Range of motion( the movement of your joints)
- Weight loss
In addition, there are many benefits that are not as obvious, such as:
- Improving decision making
- Reaction times
- Perception of exercise
- Manual dexterity
- Motor skills development
- Increasing self-confidence
How can I get my child an adaptive bike through Red Star Riders?
If you would like to get your child an adaptive bike, you can contact Red Star Riders at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-920-5525 to set up an appointment for a bike fitting. Your child will then go on our “wish list” to receive a bike. Though we help raise money, we highly encourage families to also fundraise for themselves through bake sales, candy sales, yard sales, monetary donations instead of gifts for birthdays or holidays, community car washes or anything else you can think of. The more you are able to contribute toward your child’s bike, the quicker they will get their bike. You can also purchase the bike in full and it will be ordered right away. We then help to build and fit your child on the bike once it has arrived.