Brooke's First Ride on an Adaptive Tricycle

July 26, 2011 by Elena Noble, MPT
Brooke Slabaugh is all smiles as she ride her special need trike over a paved surface

Submitted by Kathy Slabaugh, Brooke’s mother

Words cannot describe what our family feels, seeing Brooke ride a bike for the first time at 14 years old.

Over the past years we have tried to teach Brooke bike riding on several types of bikes with training wheels. She had lots of scrapes and bruises, and was not able to balance herself. Now she is safely riding. She is glowing with confidence riding solo for the first time. Tears were running down our faces seeing her ride all by herself for the first time.

Brooke’s self-esteem and pride is a wonderful thing for us all. For you and me it seems so easy to hop on a bike and ride down the road. I never realized how weak Brooke’s muscles really were, until I saw her trying to ride up a slight incline in our driveway. It took all she had. The first day she was on her Rifton adaptive tricycle for about five hours, just riding in a circle on the driveway, not wanting to get off because she loved the feeling it gave her. Moments like this are so precious.

Making the Uphill Climb Fun with a Special Needs Bike

I’m sure Brooke will soon advance up our small incline and feel confident to venture a little further down the road. We’re amazed watching her confidence grow and her will to work at accomplishing the next segment of the sidewalk.A teenager rides her green special needs bike on the pavement in front of her house This is something we never imagined for her. Now I see that it’s our turn to get bikes to join Brooke on her journey. Thank you Children’s Fund and Rifton for working with our family and understanding someone just a little different. You gave our girl such a gracious gift.

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Reply by Susan on February 22, 2015 at 2:54 AM
I love this picture of Brooke. Our granddaughter needs a bike like this. She is 24 years old but thinks like an 8 year old. She is gaining so much weight because she can't get around. Her legs are so swollen now. This site is so encouraging to try to get Medicaid to help with a bike for her. Thank you for this site. This is very powerful information and I am going to start writing letters now. Chelsea's Nana