Staff and clients alike are gearing up for ADEC’s Ride-A-Bike Saturday, May 21 at Northridge High School in Middlebury. Participants have spent weeks and even months raising pledges to pave the way for ADEC to increase choice and possibility for people with disabilities in our community.

For the past 44 years, the Elkhart community has shown up in force at ADEC’s Ride-A-Bike to raise funds dedicated to increasing choice and possibility for people with disabilities. Many of ADEC’s current board members recall hitting the pavement as young children. It was their first step toward meeting ADEC’s clients, building relationships and developing a heart for advocacy.
Each year, more people connect with ADEC through Ride-A-Bike. They come as part of a group or because they wanted to enjoy a ride on the Pumpkinvine Trail. In the process, they engage with ADEC’s mission of choice and possibility. As a result, ADEC’s footprint in the community grows and the possibilities for clients become greater.

The money raised at Ride-A-Bike can be found in all the things that make ADEC stand out without charging clients for the difference. Summer Camp offered at a reduced rate for children with disabilities. Vocational options spanning from a top-of-the-line art program to streamlined technology training available at each of ADEC’s five day service locations. Guardianship services for clients who do not have anyone willing or able to make crucial decisions in their life. These are all programs that benefit from Ride-A-Bike each year.

The hallmark trait of Ride-A-Bike is inclusion. ADEC’s clients enjoy riding their bikes with family and friends. Several clients make personal fundraising goals each year. They spend time talking within their own communities, sharing how ADEC has impacted their lives for the better. When it comes time for the ride, they line up with community members and everyone takes off together – forgetting the differences and enjoying the day.

This thread of inclusion is woven through the ride. This year’s list of 128 volunteers includes more than 50 client volunteers. As the riders make their way through Elkhart County, they are greeted with the cheers and hospitality of group home staff and clients in brightly colored volunteer shirts at each of the five Stop And Gear stops. There is a place for anyone who wishes to participate in Ride-A-Bike.

This year, we encourage you to come out and find your place at Ride-A-Bike. Online registration has closed, but you can easily register at the event. This year’s fees are $30 per rider or $15 per student. Enjoy a sunny day as you participate in the two-mile walk or in the 30-, 18- or 9- mile bike ride. Talk with your fellow riders and get to know the people served by ADEC. Your weekend will the better for it, we guarantee it!

For more information, contact Rod Tackett at [email protected].

Article by Whitney Craig | Communications Specialist