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When I think back to my youth I remember all of my friends riding their bikes around our neighborhood. Riding a bike is not only great for exercise, it also gives kids and teenagers a sense of independence.

As a matter of fact more than 74 million kids across the U.S. ride bikes.

However, those with cognitive or physical disabilities tend to miss out on the fun and freedom that bike riding offers.

There are adaptive bikes for those with disabilities, but they can be pretty expensive. Most families have a hard time being able to afford these bikes for their special needs child.

This is where The Friendship Circle and the Great Bike Giveaway comes into play.

This is the sixth year that the Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield has done The Great Bike Giveaway. In the past five years the nonprofit has helped more than 900 special need children and teens get adaptive bikes.

The Friendship Circle provides assistance and support to 3,000 individuals with special needs and their families by providing recreational, social, educational and vocational programming. It also offers programs for adults wrestling with addiction and other challenges.

The organization has worked with ten different companies that make adaptive bikes to get a discounted price. Families then raise money through crowdfunding.

Registration started on February 1. If you or someone you know might benefit from an adaptive bike you can find all of the registration information here.

The Great Bike Giveaway is open to anyone who has a cognitive or physical disability under the age of 30. The fundraiser is also open to anyone within the United States and District of Columbia.

The fundraiser starts on Wednesday, February 15. It ends on Wednesday, March 15. Participants will have a month to meet their goal.

Once the fundraiser is over families who raised the total amount will get their bike from the manufacturer. There is still a chance for those who do not meet their full goal. If they raised at least 50 percent of the money they will be entered into a drawing for the bike they signed up for.

Every kids deserves to know how fun riding a bike can be. This is a great way for kids with special needs to get a bike.

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