Ten-year-old Summer Smith hoots and hollers, wind rushing past her face, enjoying the feel of the gravelly path passing under the wheels of her bike, as she and her family race down the trail on their bikes near their Cambria home. Family bike rides are a favorite pass-time for the Smiths, but these bike rides would have been impossible a few months ago.
Summer’s parents, Justin and Suraya, are avid bike riders that were eager to include their three children in their hobby. Due to Summer’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy, coordinating family bike rides was a challenge. After Summer outgrew the standard co-pilot style bike that is common for parents to use with small children, the Smiths were forced to put family rides on hold.
Recalling those years Suraya said, “the temptation when someone in your family can’t move well, is to either leave them behind or to not do those types of activities, and we didn’t like either of those options.” She explained that “when you are missing one kid in a family experience, it feels like a piece of your heart is missing.”
Hope was restored for the family when a friend told them about a specialized bike that would allow Summer to join them on adventures again. However, another obstacle still remained, the cost of the bike Summer needed. Fortunately, Jack’s Helping Hand was able to help.
Partnering with LoneStar eBikes, the local non-profit helped the Smiths pay for the bike. The bike allows the Smith family to ride together again, it also and serves as a physical therapy tool for Summer, improving her health and strength.
To celebrate Bike Month the Smiths are planning plenty of family bike rides using Summer’s brand new bike.