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First Adaptive Bike Camping program in Chicago.
First Adaptive Bike Camping program in Chicago.
Photo: Out Our Front Door

The first-ever Adaptive Bike Camping Pilot Program launches August 7

Out Our Front Door in partnership with Adaptive Adventures and the Chicago Park District announces the launch of the first Adaptive Bike Camping program for people with disabilities that combines adaptive cycling with camping. This program invites children with a disability to ride and camp with family, friends and the wider community. Participants will ride together along the lakefront trail, and camp overnight behind the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., from Saturday, August 7 to Sunday, August 8. 

“The Chicago Park District is committed to bolstering recreational opportunities for our special needs community by building access to a wide range of activities through partnerships with organizations, like Out Our Front Door, which have longstanding relationships with these groups,” Alonzo Williams, Chief Programming Officer at the Chicago Park District.

Out Our Front Door’s first-ever pilot program for Adaptive Bike Camping for children with special needs and their families was made possible with support from a grant provided by the Thumbuddy Special Foundation.  The program will take a small cohort of families, who have children or another member of the family with a disability or special needs, on a series of skill-building day rides on some of Chicago’s most beautiful bike paths. The bike rides will be followed by a camping experience and a boat cruise with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s downtown skyline.

“At Out Our Front Door, friendship, comradery, and inclusiveness is at the heart of all of the programming that we offer. Adaptive Bike Camping for people with disabilities is simply the next logical step in our mission,” said Out Our Front Door Board Member, Bradley Fisher. “Bike camping is our passion, and we want to share it with the world. This program is committed to a completely immersive experience of bike camping for all, where the journey is as important, and as beautiful, as the destination.”

This program seeks to take adaptive cycling to the next level by providing support and removing barriers to allow everyone to experience cycling and camping at its best. In the United States, an estimated 49 million people, almost 20% of the population, have a disability.  

Out Our Front Door believes that everyone deserves a life filled with adventure, exploration, and immersion into our natural world. The world of adaptive cycling has grown rapidly. It is now possible for just about anyone with any disability, including blindness, cerebral palsy, and even spinal cord injuries to experience the joy and many other benefits of cycling.  Many adaptive sports programs exist to help people connect with the right equipment and support to make this happen. 

For more information about the Chicago Park District’s special recreation programming, visit Special Recreation Programs.

About Out Our Front Door is a nonprofit that leads bike adventures to immerse and educate in local history and nature. As a community organization, Out Our Front Door’s mission is to immerse, educate, and preserve the history, culture, trails, and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area through exploratory adventures. Established in 2015 with the North Loop Ride, the organization now has many different resources, events, and programs it offers to the public. For more information, visit www.oofd.org.