Can I purchase one of your adapted roller bikes?

The goal of Rainbow Trainers is not to sell bicycles–our goal is to help people of all ages ride a conventional bicycle.  Since the inception of the bicycle many people have learned to ride through trial and error, training wheels, and determination.

However, these traditional approaches do not work for everyone.  Many people have tried to learn to ride and have not been successful.  Rainbow Trainers offers new and fearful riders the opportunity to learn the motor program to ride a conventional bike while using a more stable adapted bicycle.

The bottom line is that you will not need one of our adapted trainers for very long.  Typically, a few hours on our adapted trainers will allow someone to move from not riding to riding.

Instead of selling bicycles we prefer partnering with organizations that use our trainers in community based bicycle camps.   A one week camp in a community allows new riders to have access to our trainers for the time that they need to develop the needed motor plan without asking that individual to purchase a trainer that will only be needed for a short time.

If you are interested in having the Rainbow Trainers Adapted Bikes visit your community please let us know.

3 thoughts on “Can I purchase one of your adapted roller bikes?”

  1. Would you be willing to partner with a school district? After trying for years with traditional equipment, last year I took a chance and enrolled my son in an I Can Shine bike camp. My son was successful in 3 days. Unfortunately, the camp is typcially only offered once per week during the summer and many parents can’t afford it. A partnership with our school district would expand access to your program.

    1. As I understand your recent post, you are saying three things: (i) based on your personal experience, the adapted bike program works, (ii) access is limited as the camp program is currently available only one week per year (in your community, usually in the summer), and (iii) for many parents the cost is an issue.
      Based on years of experience and pilot attempts of working with school districts, it has been concluded (internally by Rainbow Trainers, Inc.) that the use of our equipment in schools during regular hours is not practical. We found the reasons and obstacles to be many and varied. A detailed listing of the issues and obstacles that preclude in-school usage is beyond the scope of this note.
      On the other hand, usage of our equipment as an extracurricular (after regular school hours) activity has experienced modest success. As a general rule, scheduling usage after regular school hours allows typically one session with kids per week in a given school. A fleet of bikes can then be moved to the next scheduled location for subsequent weeks. The primary beneficiaries are not always the riding children but rather the volunteer spotters. Middle school aged youngsters can be engaged in genuine activities that permit them to be successful while working with and for the benefit of children with disabilities. This extracurricular volunteer activity can become an eye-opening experience and even a life changing experience for the middle school aged spotters.
      I agree that access to the adapted bike program is a problem when the camp/program comes to your town but once a year. Moreover, some communities have not taken the steps necessary to even host a camp. Reasons vary, but the spread of the adapted bike program is held in check because of cost considerations, as one dominant factor. Other hurdles that impede getting a camp underway include sourcing volunteer spotters, securing a facility for riding, and the overall ability of the camp host or director to not become overwhelmed. At this point, the budget needed to bring a camp to a community is somewhere in the $10,000 range or possibly more depending upon how many frills (tee shirts, meals for helpers, helmets provided for campers, publicity, rental fee for a venue, tuition waivers, insurance, assistance for needy families to purchase a bike, etc.) are added.
      My initial dreams and hopes (say, a decade ago) were that a national charity could secure a national funding source sufficient to bring the cost to the community down to, say, the vicinity of $6,000. I will add that my view is that the camp, any camp, must cost something. Otherwise, the community and the parents will not value the camp. Said another way, when camps are offered for free, they are at risk before they start because people will enroll their children, and quite frankly fail to show at the door. Another problem is that if tuition is zero or near zero, the parent will enroll children so as to obtain free child-care services, when in fact the child might have little or no interest in riding and even possibly be not suited as a rider – such as due to blindness, missing or inoperative limbs, behavior and defiance disorders, non-ambulatory, refusal to put on a helmet, etc. Free camps will attract a segment of the population that has financial circumstances that might prohibit later purchase of a bicycle for the child once the child is riding. My view is that it seems futile to get a child able to ride a bike and yet the child at the end of camp doesn’t have access to a bike.
      If we could overcome the barriers to getting camps started and in place, there is no reason why the number of programs annually couldn’t increase and significantly so. A full discussion as to the barriers to growth and how they might be overcome is beyond the scope of this note. Right now the number of camp offerings nationally and in Canada each year still remains under 100 camps. The number of children currently served annually is approximately 3,000, whereas the market is potentially orders of magnitude greater.
      In order to bring some sort of closure, I will say that in a distant future the program will be much more widely available and accessible. Unfortunately, we are still in the present, now that it is still 2014. Rainbow Trainers, Inc., a small (“ma and pa”) S-Corporation that builds the bikes and puts the fleets together, consists of one person, yours truly. Rainbow Trainers, Inc. depends exclusively on user fees for its economic survival. We have never sought out nor accepted any form of government grant or subsidy. Simply stated, RTI must charge a usage fee so that we can balance our books and stay in business, and keep the lights burning. At this point I am 75 years young, but fortunately God has given me a few more years (hopefully) to remain active. In my estimation, the program will expand to the next level in terms of fleets and camp offerings, but only when some appropriate source(s) of capital and support can be obtained. Moreover, at present the program is made available in the United States and Canada through the iCan Shine national charity. Rainbow Trainers, Inc. is always receptive should other institutions seek to contract and/or partner directly with us. Quite frankly, we have only offered our equipment and services to date through the iCan Shine organization. If any group would like to contract directly with RTI, the hurdles would be many and the costs involved would, in my view, not be any less. From my vantage point, it makes all the sense in the world to support and work with the national charity already in place. When enough resources are in place two things will hopefully happen: (i) the national charity will see an economy of scale in that the costs of delivery will come down, and (ii) that donations from benefactors will increase.
      I remain hopeful that somehow we can expand and serve more children. I also remain willing to listen to suggestions and proposals. One principle that I hold is that the program will not go overseas until and unless we can sustain the program within our present service area, the United States and Canada.
      Please feel free to contact me or to even schedule a visit in person.
      Richard E. Klein, Ph.D.
      E-mail r-klein@rainbowtrainers.com

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