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Children given the gift of freedom thanks to Richmond-nonprofit REACHcycles

Posted at 7:53 AM, Nov 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 07:06:31-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond nonprofit REACHcycles gave the gift of independence and mobility to nearly two dozen children living with disabilities.

The children and their families gathered at AMF bakery on Saturday to be fit for their new Adaptive bikes and some riding lessons.

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Founder James Howard said his goal was to let children experience the amazing freedom of riding a bike.

It's a freedom he said some people might take for granted.

Howard said he realized the importance of that freedom when he was given an adapted bike after medically retiring from the military.

"It got me an opportunity to be around other veterans, learn from them, to be outside, get some exercise, and just do something that I thought I may never do again," Howard said. "As a quadriplegic with no hand function, it's just something that never entered my mind that I could ride a bike again."

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Howard founded REACHcycles in 2014. His nonprofit has donated more than 700 bikes to children and military veterans.

"When I moved to Richmond, Virginia, I saw that there was nothing in place for children here in the state of Virginia. So just decided to do something here in Richmond and I've been surrounded by so many amazing people that have made it really possible."

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