VA Medical Center hosts adaptive bike clinic for veterans

IRON MOUNTAIN — This afternoon at Redemption Hill Church, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center partnered with a local independent living organization to give veterans a unique opportunity to get active.

The VA hosted a free adaptive bike clinic for veterans, people with disabilities, and anyone who wanted to try one of the bikes. The specialized bikes were provided by the UP Superior Alliance for Independent Living, also known as SAIL.

“We wanted to come and show some of the bikes that we have for people with disabilities,” explained SAIL Executive Director Sarah Peurakoski. “We have different types of adaptive bikes, and people with or without disabilities can try them. It’s just a great way to get them out on the road and to give people an opportunity to try the bikes. You don’t buy these bikes a lot in the stores, and so this is a specialized opportunity for people to try them out.”

The staff from the VA said the bike clinic is part of their initiative to emphasize wellness and ownership of one’s own health for veterans.

“We’re holding this event to help educate veterans about the importance of being active and exercise,” said VA Recreation Therapist Boone Kerley. “And it’s just another way for people to get up and get active and healthy.”

SAIL says this is the first time they’ve been able to partner with the VA for a clinic like this. The adaptive bike clinic was an opportunity for the staff to show veterans their appreciation for their service and a chance to give something back.