Adapted Biking in Acadia National Park
WHAT WE DO
The MDI Wheelers aim to provide experiences on the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park for people unable to ride a bike by themselves.
Our mission is to serve our community by increasing the accessibility of Acadia National Park Carriage Roads.
Our program will use special electric-assist tricycles that enable a safe and comfortable ride for people who would like to have a ride on the carriage roads but need assistance. Rides will be free.
Limited service will begin, after National Park Service approval, in June 2023 as a ‘Come to Us’ program.
Comment from a “Wheeler”
“The bike ride was terrific! I saw parts of the Park that I had never seen before. The ride was very comfortable and educational. Thank you MDI Wheelers!” – Bill Buchanan
WHO WE ARE
We are a volunteer-led nonprofit organization established in late 2021. Our 501(c)3 designation was approved in April 2022. Now we are hard at work developing our program.
We learned about Adaptive Biking programs through the Portland Wheelers (portlandwheelers.org) who have inspired and mentored us through the start-up process. We continue to receive and share information between the two organizations as we develop our programs.
During the 2022 biking season our leadership group is conducting proof-of-concept rides on the Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park. We are working with park staff to define routes and logistics. Also, we are laying the groundwork for our volunteer organization of clients, riders, sponsors and other interested parties.
MDI Wheelers expect to begin offering a limited schedule of rides in June 2023.
Board of Directors
Dave Edson – President
Art Worster – VP/Treasurer
Linda Woolley, JD
The Board of Directors volunteer their time to oversee daily operations and plan for the future of the organization. Together they have many years of experience biking on the Carriage Roads.
Support & DONATE
How can you help? We depend on donors and sponsors for funding and on volunteers for our staffing. We can’t move forward without your help.
Financial, in-kind, and volunteer support will be critical as the program begins operations. A second adapted e-trike, a transport trailer, storage shed, safety vests, helmets, and bicycle gear are some of he physical needs for 2023. Tell friends and neighbors about this very special program. Financial donations can be made in honor of or in memory of an individual, are tax deductible and will be acknowledged by email or letter for your records. In-kind donations will be gratefully received.
We are just beginning to recruit volunteers. When we are ready to offer rides, we will need volunteers for on-bike tasks. We will need pilots and safeties.
We will also need people to help maintain our trikes and equipment, to coordinate volunteers, to schedule rides and to build our ‘Come-To-Us’ community. We will need help with fundraising, organizing events, updating our social media and website, publishing our newsletter and more.
We will also be developing community partnerships. Cooperation with local organizations that work with the elderly and the disabled are important for our mission.
If you are interested in working with us on this program, please send an email to: email@example.com through the “Contact” form. Include your contact information and a brief statement about how you would like to help.
Pilots & Safeties
Pilots pedal our trikes with a Wheeler passenger. though our trikes are equipped with E-1 electric pedal-assist motors, riding with a Wheeler takes some strength.
Safety riders ride alongside our Wheeler trikes on their own bikes (regular or e-bikes). They assist with the safe movement of the pod on the Carriage Roads.
MDI Wheeler rides are group rides with at least two volunteers. We refer to the group of trikes and safety riders as a pod, which always stays together as a unit., Family members may ride along on their own bikes. Ride sessions will last from a half hour to an hour. All ride routes will be designed to take advantage of more moderate terrain and allow riders to enjoy lovely views.
TO BECOME A PILOT OR SAFETY, A VOLUNTEER MUST:
- Be at least twenty-one years of age;
- Weigh no more than 225 pounds;
- Complete a four-hour training session;
- Satisfactorily perform all pilot-related skills; and…
- Commit to a minimum of two half-day shifts per month, June through September.
Pilot and Safety training will take place in the late spring before the ride season, primarily during May. Training sessions may also be scheduled throughout the season as required. Training sessions focus on learning how to deliver a safe, comfortable, and fun experience for our wheelers.
Sessions are four hours long and are held on select mornings and afternoons on the designated ride routes in Acadia National Park. Volunteers learn the fundamentals of operating the trikes, our safety guidelines, and best practices for interacting with our Wheelers.
Being an MDI Wheeler Pilot and Ssafety is a significant commitment with great rewards. Our Wheelers will trust you and look forward to seeing you.
You will absolutely make their day, and we’re certain they’ll make yours!