At Lyft, everyone is a bike person. That includes older adults, people with disabilities, and anyone else who might not look like the “stereotypical” cyclist.
Last weekend, Lyft and Achilles International kicked off the first Adaptive Cycling Program sessions of the riding season at Central Park in Manhattan and Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. Dozens of people living with disabilities, older riders, and those who were simply curious about new ways to cycle attended these free events to access adaptive cycles with the assistance of trained staff.
Achilles International staff and volunteer guides answered questions, helped riders select the right cycle, provided training and encouragement, and offered safe storage for riders’ personal belongings, including their mobility devices.
Want to join next time?
Here are our upcoming rides:
- Williamsbridge Oval - Wednesdays at 11 AM EDT, starting tomorrow, May 18, 2022 - 3225 Reservoir Oval E, Bronx, NY, near Montefiore Hospital entrance
- Prospect Park - Thursdays at 5:00 PM EDT, starting May 19, 2022 - outside of the tennis center on Parkside and Coney Island Ave.
- Central Park - Saturdays at 9:00 AM EDT - at the parking lot at the Loeb Boathouse, Park Drive North, E 72nd St, Manhattan
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park - Sundays at 9:00 AM EDT - at the parking lot at New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St, Queens, NY
There is no cost to participate in these free weekly sessions, however, reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Participants will receive a confirmation email once their reservation is confirmed, including the exact meeting location and a required waiver. Helmets are required at all times while cycling. Please bring your own helmet if possible, otherwise one will be provided for use during your ride.
People with disabilities and those interested in volunteering may learn more and RSVP at www.achillesinternational.org/citibike.
The goal of the adaptive cycling library is to extend access to cycling to people with disabilities. Adaptive cycles can be expensive, cumbersome, and for many New Yorkers with small apartments, difficult to store. These weekly sessions allow novice and experienced riders alike to hop on a bike and enjoy the ride with a community of cyclists.
Caroline Samponaro, VP of Transit, Bike and Scooter Policy at Lyft.
Katherine Valdez is an active member of the Achilles program who has participated in several races as an Achilles athlete, from a 5k to the New York City Marathon. “When you have a disability, it’s very difficult to find a place in which you belong. Here, I have found my place. When I’m here, I’m not a disabled girl, or someone in a wheelchair. I’m just another athlete and another handcyclist. And I love that.”
"Core to our mission at Achilles International is breaking down barriers to the benefits of physical activity and sport. Over 3.7 million New Yorkers, or 1 in 4 adults, live with a disability in the state and half of them report little to no leisure-time physical activity. This often means that people with disabilities face greater chronic health issues and health disparities," said Emily Glasser, President and CEO of Achilles International.