Cycling Returns For The Center For Individuals With Physical Challenges


Wednesday, May 18th 2022, 5:42 pm


TULSA, Oklahoma -

Cyclists with physical challenges are riding on the river trails again.

It's an activity operated through The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges in Tulsa.

This week was their second time leaving campus since the pandemic.

Every Wednesday, you'll find David Dowland, 78, on a tandem bike. "Oh yes, that's the main event of the week,” Dowland said.

The Army veteran has multiple sclerosis and he's blind. "I used to ride along the levy in New Orleans on my bike, but then I lost my sight and came back to Oklahoma,” Dowland said.

But that only made him want to get back on the saddle.

He started going to The Center for entertainment and exercise. The Center's mission is to enhance its member's quality of life by helping them do the things they did before and more.

"Our members are the happiest people I've ever met in my life. They have overcome so many obstacles,” said Tori Ladd, Director of Community Relations for The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges.

For Dowland, he counts his blessings in the little things.

"The fresh air, the people, and sunlight, the wildlife,” Dowland said.

Stephen Palmer has had multiple sclerosis for three decades. He's been going to The Center for five years.

"And I've begun to heal a lot better now. And things like this biking right now is fulfilling one of the goals that I had when I came to The Center,” Palmer said.

In the 80s, he'd bike at the river as a student at the University of Tulsa.

"Now I'm turning 60 this year with MS, and here I am, back again at the river bicycling,” Palmer said.

Bikers like Palmer are proving that what may seem like a setback is only the start.

"Look at the blue sky today. I mean it's just being outside and being alive. I mean that's what it's all about, isn't it?" Palmer said.

The bikers are turning their physical challenges into their greatest strength.