ST. CHARLES – Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, children are spending more time in their neighborhoods these days participating in such activities as bike riding.
"They're out riding their bikes more than they have ever been," said Katherine Reda, event director for Project Mobility. "And the sad part is that children with disabilities who don't have adaptive bikes just because they are so pricey are not being able to join their families."
Project Mobility is a nonprofit organization located in St. Charles. The organization's mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children, adults and wounded soldiers with disabilities by providing the services, resources, and equipment needed to promote better health, independence, and the freedom of mobility through adaptive cycling.
"Our work we feel like is needed more than ever right now," Reda said.
An adaptive bicycle can cost up to $5,000. Hal Honeyman, one of the owners of The Bike Rack in St. Charles, founded Project Mobility. His interest in adaptive cycling was spurred on by his son, Jacob, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Honeyman is Reda's uncle. For the last several years, area bicyclists have been riding in the Everybody Rides fundraiser to help Project Mobility with its mission.
Because of current restrictions regarding large gatherings in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, this year's Everybody Rides fundraiser has been made into a virtual event. This is the eighth year of the fundraiser.
Riders can ride whenever and wherever between the week of Aug. 23 and Aug. 30. They select the distance they would like to ride – 10, 29, 47 or 62 miles – or form a team and do The Challenge, a 500 mile ride.
For example, with a team compromised of five people, each person could ride 100 miles for the week. The registration cost is $35 person or $15 for those 10 and under.
The cost for a team (at least four people) is $30 per person. Those participating in The Challenge need to pay the group/team price of $30 to participate, plus the $10 entry fee.
"That's the fun part of a virtual event," Reda said. "Typically, an in-person event is one day, or at least for our event. We made it a week long, which is a little more unique. If someone is new to riding a bike, but they really want to hit 62 miles, they could split it up and do 10 miles every day. That's the cool part about a virtual event. It's so customizable."
Participants are urged to videotape as least part of their ride as part of a compilation video. To kick off the start of Everybody Rides on Aug. 23 and to celebrate the end of Everybody Rides on Aug. 30, adults participating in the ride can receive a free beer from D and G Brewing in St. Charles.
Reda complimented the work of Aldi as the event's presenting sponsor.
"They are amazing," she said. "They go above and beyond for us. They truly stand behind us in what we do in our mission. Last year, they even donated all the food for the rest stop. A lot of their employees participate. We had almost 200 of their employees that did it last year. We really appreciate them."
For more information and to register for the event, go to everybodyrides.org.