Disabled Blind Cyclist Seeks Government Grant To Repair Recumbent Trike
by Shawn Swonger
(Springfield, Ohio, USA)
With a biker friend at Riverscape in Dayton
My name is Shawn Swonger. I am telling my story because I'm one of a kind when it comes to the way I get around.
I ride a recumbent trike almost everywhere. I bought it for transportation because I can't drive a car.
Now I need a disability grant or other financial assistance to repair or replace my trike.
I've ridden it to Xenia Ohio and as far as Loveland Ohio. I participate in the Greene Trails Cycling Classic. I accomplished my first 100-mile ride and for someone who is legally blind I count that as a big accomplishment.
I'd like to get a grant so I can fix my trike. If I can't fix it I'd like to purchase another one that is lighter and more able to get into places easier.
I have oculocutaneous albinism, which is where I have very little pigment in my eyes, hair and skin, but I have adapted to it. If the UV is high I wear SPF 70 or higher. I love it at night because I don't have the glare of the sun.
I'm 38 years old and the trike isn't just for fun. I use it as therapy for arthritis and also depression. When I'm on the trike it's like all of the stress just leaves and I feel so much better.
This year due to my not stopping in time I bent my fork badly and need it fixed. So this year I only accomplished 287 miles, well short of my goal of 400 miles.
I've asked for help from my friends and family, but I haven't been able to get it fixed. I used to ride my trike to church and back home... just everywhere I could get to.
If I were to get a grant I'd use it to repair or replace my principle means of transportation.
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