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Shelbyville organization gives bike rides to people who can't pedal on their own

We Ride Bikes is making it possible for everyone to ride bikes — no matter their age or ability.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. — Celi Taggart rolls a three-wheeled bike with a two-person bench seat in front of the pilot seat out of a trailer at Kennedy Park in Shelbyville. Taggart ordered the trishaw from Denmark for $13,000 to start a nonprofit in 2019 called We Ride Bikes.

"We're here to love people with bikes," Taggart said. "Basically, we love riding bikes. It's a fun, healthy thing to get outside. So, let's make it possible for everyone, and let's give them that fun of the bike ride and the fun of the relationship you get when you're riding with others."

We Ride Bikes gives rides to people who can't pedal a bicycle on their own. Ninety-two-year-old Don Copple, a Marine, enjoyed a ride on the Blue River Trail in Shelbyville. Copple stays active and runs every day around the Ashford Place senior community where he lives. He can still recite the Declaration of Independence, but he suffers from short-term memory loss.

Perfect weather for a great ride on the Blue River Trail! Thank you Don and Lynsey!!😊

Posted by We Ride Bikes on Thursday, September 16, 2021

Copple enjoyed the ride, but said the memories made were already fading. 

"They were great, but I'll forget it because that's where I am in life right now," Copple said. 

He said he has learned to enjoy the moment. 

Copple reached out and grabbed leaves off trees along the trail, handing them to Lynsey Casey, sitting next to him. Casey came along for the ride as the life enrichment director at Ashford Place. 

"I'm going to have a whole bouquet," Casey told Copple during the ride.

Why was he picking leaves?  

"Better than picking my nose, right?" Copple said with a hearty laugh and big smile.

The trishaw has battery power to assist the pilot with pedaling as much as needed. We Ride Bikes offers rides on the beautiful trails in Shelby County but can also come to neighborhoods or even parking lots. 

"As much as I love to pedal and as much as I love to ride outside, it is so crazy fun to be able to sit here and talk with the passengers, people who are right there, people that I wouldn't get to connect with otherwise," Taggart said. "It's priceless."

The pandemic has slowed the pace of We Ride Bikes. But Taggart is looking for more riders and volunteer pilots and escorts. For more information, go to weridebikes.org.

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