Program gets less mobile seniors back on bikes in Shakopee, Minn.

- Residents at a senior living facility in Shakopee, Minnesota are lining up for bike rides, but with someone else doing the pedaling.

”I absolutely love it,” Mickey Zacher, a resident at All Saints Senior Living, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 18 years ago, said. “This is unbelievable, this is like a dream.”

For the community's oldest resident, 102-year-old Celeste, this is her first time ever riding a bike. Meanwhile, for others it's a taste of what they've missed.

Kathy Haubrich started Marilyn’s TWOcan Bike Service in honor of her late mother, Marilyn, who was diagnosed with polio when she was 19 years old. Three years before she died, Haubrich found a specialized bike on eBay that proved two can enjoy biking together despite Marilyn being paralyzed. Haubrich later raised the money for a second $5,000 bike which does not require riders to be transferred.

“I just know how trapped you sometimes feel when you are less mobile,” said Haubrich.

Now, with the help of a couple volunteers, she takes seniors with physical limitations, dementia, multiple sclerosis and anyone who can enjoy the wind in their hair on rides from a uniquely secured wheelchair mounted on the bike. 

Haubrich knows her mom would be proud of her efforts. 

“I feel like she lives on in all the eyes of all the people you saw smiling today,” Haubrich said. “That’s the joy. That’s why we don’t charge. Nobody should not be able to ride.”

If you are interested in volunteering to pedal one of these bikes, or expanding the program you can email Kathy Haubrich at: kathyhaubrich@gmail.com

RELATED STORY: 'TWOcan Bike Service' offers free rides to seniors

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