Tuesday morning’s bright sun and crisp temperatures promised a perfect day for a bike ride. Perfect, that is, unless you’re one of many who suffer from limited mobility.
That’s where John Brunow and his wife, Ces — short for Cecelia — come in. They own and operate All Ability Cycles in Jefferson, and they visited the Perry Lutheran Home Main Campus Tuesday morning to reintroduce the joy of cycling to some folks who had not ridden in a long time.
The seniors, many of them in wheelchairs, seemed skeptical as they waited for John and Ces to unload their crazy-looking contraptions from the van. The Brunows’ German-made Draisin cycles looked somewhat like high-tech rickshaws, with shiny aluminum and space-age alloys glinting in the morning sun.
Designed to be pedaled by an able-bodied person, some All Ability Cycles feature a chair for a passenger to ride in, and others provide a platform to which a wheelchair could be securely anchored.
As John began buckling the first brave volunteer in, he talked about the cycle shop he and Ces previously owned in Vienna, Va., and the work they did with returning war veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center, both located in Bethesda, Md., near Washington, D.C.
When John’s father needed his second hip replacement in 2010, John and Ces decided to sell the shop in Vienna and move to Jefferson to care for him. In 2011 they opened All Ability Cycles in Jefferson, continuing their life’s work of bringing cycling to those who might otherwise miss out on its many health and social benefits.
By now John had the first brave soul, Perry Lutheran Home resident Bud Bice, securely buckled into the platform unit as fellow resident Dee Grassmeier sat ready and waiting in the chair model. After a quick check on traffic, Bud and John were off with a cheerful, “Adios, amigos!” from Bud, while Dee and Ces followed not far behind.
The first voyagers returned shortly, and some of the skeptics now seemed a bit more eager for their turn. Complaints about the cold gradually turned to tales of cycling adventures long ago, and the laughing chatter gave merit to John’s claims of cycling leading to increased social activity.
No doubt this morning’s activities will provide these seniors with a cheerful topic of discussion for some time to come. For more information about All Ability Cycles, visit their Facebook page or call 515-386-8900.
ThePerryNews.com photos by Mark Summerson