NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Learning to ride a bicycle is a part of growing up.
Children with disabilities often need custom bikes, which can be expensive.
A Brooklyn business owner surprised a teenager who was psyched to hit the road, and CBS2’s Lisa Rozner was there.
It’s a bike ride Diego Munoz, 15, will never forget.
The Park Slope teen has cerebral palsy. He can’t walk, but as of Friday, he can pedal.
“It was a beautiful surprise,” said his father Gerardo Munoz.
The surprise was a $4,000 bicycle, custom-made for Diego.
“It was something I don’t think he’d ever forget,” said Sandra Alfonzo, the owner of Behind Bars in Brooklyn bicycle repair shop. “Me either.”
Alfonzo put the wheels in motion for the idea about a year ago. She was running in the park when she passed a boy in a wheelchair get excited watching another boy on his bike.
“By the time I got up the hill, I said ‘I want to do something different and change their lives,'” Alfonzo said.
She started fundraising at the store for a project to make custom bikes. Diego is the first recipient: His ride was made and shipped from Canada. It features adaptable handlebars, straps to hold his feet in, and most importantly, the option to pedal on his own.
“He feels like a normal kid. You know, that is the best gift for him,” Gerardo said.
There’s already another bike in production for another child. It will be similar to the first, but it’s going to have an oxygen carrier in the back.
Having more children smile is the goal.
“He is so happy to go outside to the park, and that is amazing,” said Gabriela Asomoza.
Diego and his dad are riding and running together in a 10k marathon in the coming weeks.
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