Being Social, While Social Distancing
Outdoor recreational opportunities can still follow social distancing guidelines, especially with biking. Challenge Mountain, focused on providing outdoor activities for those living with disabilities, just wrapped up a modified summer biking program that provided participants outdoor experiences during these unprecedented times.
Throughout August and the first weeks of September, individual experiences included 1-1/2-hour rides with one volunteer per participant. Riders traveled from Spring Lake Park on M-119, riding north toward Conway/Alanson. “Traditionally a group activity,” explains Challenge Mountain Program Director Linda Armstrong, “we still wanted to offer individual sessions for our participants this summer. The safety and health of our participants is a top priority, and biking was the perfect activity.”
Bike donations over the past few years from the AMBUCS chapter in Grand Rapids, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring mobility and independence, have increased the Challenge Mountain fleet to 13. Tricycle-style therapeutic bikes, buckets bikes, two-wheelers, side-by-side, hand-crank, and buddy bikes help Challenge Mountain to accommodate various disability levels.
“Those individuals who were able to participate this summer really enjoyed the adventure and were excited to be outside participating in a recreational activity,” Armstrong shares. “We are looking forward to a time when we can all gather again, but for now, we are adjusting to be sure those living with disabilities still have outdoor recreational opportunities.”
Challenge Mountain is a non-profit 501c3 organization.