Cyclists of all abilities hit the road

Whenever Janet Danza gets in the van to go to her day program at Lifestyles for the Disabled, she always asks her caretaker, Stephanie, the same question.

"I say Stephanie, when can I ride the bike?" said Danza.

She's talking about the Nuvotrike, a special tricycle tailored to riders of all abilities and all ages.

"It's not complicated," said Christopher Trifaro, describing the tricycle. "You get on, you pedal and you go."

Michael Trifaro, a physical therapist, and his brother Christopher invented the tricycle in 2009 when Michael was biking with his then-7-year-old and wanted something with a little more support. In 2016, the demand from parents of children with  developmental disabilities was tremendous after the Trifaro's posted it on Facebook and Craigslist.

"It was very shocking when it happened," Michael Trifaro, said. "To see them be independent on a tricycle means everything to Chris and I," he added.

Unlike traditional bicycles and tricycles, there's no chain connecting the front and back wheels. When you use the pedals, you're only pushing the front wheel.

The back wheels help the rider keep their balance and their off.

"Sometimes we have a difficult time trying to get the guys to try anything but they were all very excited to get on a bike and use that as a form of exercise," said Maureen Dreher, a health and wellness supervisor at Lifestyles for the Disabled.

"I want to keep my figure, lose weight," Danza said.

The Trifaro's also say the price is appealing. Tricycles for kids with special needs can cost thousands of dollars. The trike only costs 299 before tax.

"It hits you right in the heart," Christopher Trifaro said. Because you can see when they're happy, we're happy."

It's a feeling they hope to share with future riders of all ages and abilities. For more information, head to nuvotrike.com.

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