As most of you know, we cycle a lot since Dave built a tandem for he and Rob. Here's a link to a ride we took earlier this month that one of the unicyclists, Kevin, put together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le3NkPh4NfA&feature=youtu.be&list=UUvmYRqLMWIwVa2vJRet5obg
The ride is called "Rob's Ride" not because of Rob Thompson, but another unicyclist who began a weekly ride in Santa Cruz which we participate in occasionally.
This year we also applied to be ambassadors for World Bicycle Relief. WBR is an amazing charity which provides bikes for people for education, health-care, and businesses in Africa. They also train people to be mechanics so the program is sustainable. Here's a link to their page: http://www.worldbicyclerelief.org/
We won't hear until next month whether or not we've been selected. I thought I'd share parts of the application on this site.
Why We Want to Serve as Team World Bicycle Relief Ambassadors
Bicycles change lives. I know, they changed mine.
In 2008 at the age of 19, our son, Rob, suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident. He was in a coma for five weeks and hospitalized for five months. It was nearly six months before he spoke and when he did, he started asking to bike.
At that time, he couldn't hold his own head up, couldn’t sit, stand, or even feed himself. He still asked to bike nearly every day. Depending on my mood, these requests either broke my heart or infuriated me.
My husband, Dave, had a different reaction. He began to research tandems that he could ride with Rob. Rob’s accident was hard on the whole family, but Dave seemed to have the hardest time accepting it. As a mechanical engineer, his job is to fix things and this was something he couldn’t fix.
After several weeks, Dave explained to me that there wasn't a bike available that would work for Rob. I expected that would be the end of the discussion. But instead, Dave told me he was going to build a tandem trike that he and Rob would ride. I thought he was crazy but, it would be good therapy for him.
By 2010, the bike was complete. Rob's first ride lasted less than a mile. Rob was thrilled. HIs legs shook involuntarily even hours after riding, but he loved it.
Dave was disappointed they couldn’t ride farther. Dave has always loved cycling. He rode across the country after high school so a century ride was pretty routine.
I enjoyed biking and had never biked more than ten miles at a time. I pointed out that our son, who couldn't walk and hadn't done much exercising in two years, was able to bike nearly a mile. I was amazed.
In 2011, we were riding regularly on weekends. Dave signed the three of us up for a 30 mile bike ride. Again, I thought he was crazy. We biked 20 miles on that ride. It was a record for Rob and I.
Last year, we set another record for Rob and I biking 60 miles. The next day, while I was wiped out, Rob asked if we could bike again. I thought he's crazy, just like his dad.
I continue to think Rob and Dave are crazy and amazing. Rob is still in a wheelchair. But, biking has helped him relearn a cadence we hope will help him walk again. He says he feels normal when he bikes and he always wants to bike longer.
We know bikes can change lives. Rob was lucky to have a father who could create a bike that worked for him. World Bike Relief creates bikes that work for people. We want to help get as many bikes as we can to people who can use them. We want to be ambassadors to demonstrate the power of bicycles.