Project Mobility, the charitable arm of The Bike Rack in St. Charles, is hosting its fifth annual bike ride fundraiser dubbed Everybody Rides 2017 on Sept. 24 at James O. Breen Community Park in St. Charles.
Also at the event, the winner of the group’s annual Facebook contest – where a disabled child, adult or wounded veteran who generates the most “likes” from readers wins a $2,200 Rambler Nuvinci adaptive bike donated by TerraTrike – will receive his or her prize.
The more money that’s raised, the more adaptive bikes will be donated, said Katherine Simmons, Project Mobility’s event director and niece of the The Bike Rack’s owner, Hal Honeyman.
“Project Mobility’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children, adults and wounded soldiers with disabilities,” she said. “We provide the services, resources and equipment needed to promote better health, independence and the freedom of mobility through adaptive cycling.”
On-site registration/check-in for Everybody Rides 2017 will take place from 6:30 to 9 a.m. Sept. 24 at the park. As rides for each route begin at different times, participants should view the day's schedule before the event on Project Mobility's website, www.projectmobility.org, where online registration ends at 5 p.m. Sept. 23.
Riders can choose between a 10-mile family trail ride or a 29-, 47- or 62-mile road ride on country roads. Participation is free for veterans. Individuals pay $40, and a family of four pays $120 (with each additional family member after four charged $30). Youth-size T-shirts are $15 and adult-size T-shirts are $20. The event concludes with a party in the park, offering live entertainment, food, drinks and raffles.
During high school, Honeyman worked several years after hours in a St. Charles bike shop. In 1975, while attending Harper College in Palatine, he learned the bike shop was for sale.
“I told my family about it,” Honeyman said during a “Hallmark Heroes with Regis Philbin” television interview airing on Christmas Eve 2008. “Several days later, we made an offer and now we’re in the bike business.”
Honeyman later married, and he and his wife, Julie, had a son, Jacob, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Several years later, after Honeyman noticed Jacob watching two of his younger, 3-year-old triplet sisters riding bikes, Honeyman found a bike and adapted it for Jacob. After about six tries, Jacob pushed down and initiated his pedaling.
“Jacob’s eyes lit up, and he was smiling from ear to ear,” Honeyman said. “I was in tears. Jacob now knew he could [pedal and ride his bike], and I knew disabled kids could find freedom through mobility.”
Last year, Project Mobility, which Honeyman founded, operated in 25 states, serving more than 2,000 wounded soldiers. Project Mobility held more than 50 day camps for special-needs children, and donated more than $50,000 in adaptive cycling equipment.
For information, call Simmons at 630-464-299, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.projectmobility.org.