There’s nothing quite like feeling the wind in your hair on a bike ride.
For many seniors, it’s an experience they could only dream of doing again. But thanks to a local nonprofit, that dream came true in White Bear Lake this weekend.
“We just bring bikes out to give people rides,” Limitless Cycling co-founder Matthew Stepaniak said.
It’s called Limitless Cycling—and it’s a traveling non-profit that brings piloted adaptive bicycles to senior centers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Fifty seniors at The Waters of White Bear Lake enjoyed a ride Friday morning.
“They feel included. There’s just something about having the wind in your face,” co-founder Darren Dobier said. “As soon as they start to feel the wind in their face, they light up and start talking.”
Limitless Cycling is a passion project between Stepaniak and Dobier and completely run by volunteers. The Waters was the fourth stop they’ve made this week.
“We are providing to the community that may not be able to afford it, may not be able to physically or mentally do. We fill that gap and we hope we are a part of a much bigger puzzle,” Stepaniak said.
Executive Director at The Waters of White Bear Lake Rachel Staven sees the difference it makes in her residents.
“Bringing meaningful moments and purposeful lives is really important to anybody, but especially seniors and individuals with dementia,” she said. “When you’re about to do that, you’re able to improve their lives. They tend to sleep better, eat better and why not? Why not have a better quality of life. And if we can offer that, that’s the most important thing we do.”
It’s a simple concept, but it leaves a huge impact. The Waters resident Sandy Larsen and her daughter Heide Reilly took a ride together.
“Oh, my goodness. Fun is not even close. It’s so much more,” Larsen said.
Beyond the senior community, Limitless Cycling also serves veterans and differently-abled communities young and old.