Non-profit offering therapeutic bike rides for those unable to ride a traditional bicycle

A new non-profit in Carolina Beach is helping people experience the thrill of riding a bike again
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 7:52 AM EDT
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CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Remember the feeling of your first bike ride?

Unfortunately the feeling of wind blowing through your hair and that sense of freedom is something some people no longer get to experience.

But now, a new non-profit in Carolina Beach is helping those people experience the thrill of riding a bike again. The organization, called 3Wheel Therapy, uses a special therapeutic bicycle that works similar to a two person bicycle, except one person is simply along for the ride.

The experience is ideal for anybody who is unable to ride a traditional bicycle, such as those with disabilities, aging adults, individuals who have low or poor mobility, or those who are fearful of riding a bike.

These adaptive tricycles are referred to as Trikes, and Nicole Kohler, the founder of this organization, hopes to purchase more in the future. Everything comes at a price, however, and we’re told that one Trike costs $14,000.

The one that 3Wheel Therapy has is about halfway paid off, but its worth it for Kohler, who gets to see the smiles they bring to the riders.

“We’ve done some rides for children who don’t have the physical ability to ride a traditional bicycle. So for them, it’s the first time they get to experience riding a bike, which is awesome. If you’ve ridden a bike then you know just being able to have the wind in your hair and the feeling of nature and just the feeling of movement,” said Kohler.

Jill Wright, a first time 3Wheel Therapy rider and a patient at Elderhaus PACE Wilmington, hasn’t rode a bike in over 20 years. A stroke left her with serious mobility issues, but now she’s back in the saddle again.

“After the stroke, I do nothing. Today is really exciting to me. 20 years ago, I rode a bike,” said Wright.

Riding a bike isn’t something Wright ever thought she would do again, along with many other seniors who utilize Elderhaus PACE in Wilmington.

3Wheel Therapy is one of only seven organizations in the country that offer an experience like this.

“When I asked my participants if they would like to participate, they were floored. Instant smiles came to their faces and they couldn’t wait,” said Heather Muncie, Elderhaus PACE activity director.

And for Wright, the smile on her face expresses the joy of finally going for a ride again.

“Today is a lovely day,” said Wright.

The ride is free of charge for anyone, and if you’d like to learn more about the non-profit, including taking a ride of your own, you can find that on their website here.