Michigan State’s campus is becoming more accessible for students with disabilities. Thanks to a collaboration between Recreation Sports and Fitness Services, the RCPD and MSU Bikes students are gaining more freedom and independence through accessible bikes called hand cycles. These bikes allow people with mobility disabilities to operate the bike using their hands. The hand cycles will make it easier for students to get across campus.
Jody Strank who works at the Recreation Sports and Fitness Services was instrumental in bringing these bikes to campus. She was inspired by the vision of students with disabilities being able to ride a bike by the Red Cedar with their friends. Jody teamed with Tim Potter from MSU Bikes. Tim is excited about giving people more options for health and fitness and for the opportunity for people to see the beauty of campus in a new way.
(Left) RCPD Director Michael Hudson tries out an accessible bike. (Right) Most of the "team" that helped make accessible bikes a reality at MSU.
Terrance Beebe was another key player in bringing the bikes to campus. Terrance, a student at MSU and President of the Council of Students with Disabilities, was able to offer the student perspective with the hand cycles. Terrance reflected on the impact the hand cycles will make, “This will be an entirely different way of mobility that many do not have the luxury to afford because of how costly these sorts of cycles are and this can introduce a more fun, interactive experience while staying active.”
A grant through ASMSU and the Student Affairs and Services as well as the RCPD’s Emerging Opportunity Endowment allowed the idea of bringing these bikes to campus to become real.