Adaptive biking

Heather Bean



Heather Bean lived in Hancock, Mi for fifteen years, when she decided she needed a change with more independence. Heather’s family supported her with finding a place in Marquette, but needed further assistance.

It’s a relief for us, says Heather’s brother Patrick, just knowing there’s someone else out there that can be available for a quick phone call, or even physically, providing assistance with some coordination, is a huge benefit.

Enter Fiona Banfield, a Disability Advocate for SAIL; she sat down with the family and outlined a process for independence. With help from the Safelink program, Fiona was able to procure a phone for Heather, so she would be able to communicate with her family and friends. SAIL also worked on transportation for Heather, so she was able to have more mobility and  went through future goals, which included employment!

This is my home; it’s cozy, it’s comfy, it’s clean. It’s a place to stay!

- Heather Bean

I’m working on becoming independent, like I have with SAIL; they’ve been very helpful, says Heather.

Contact us today to see how we can help.




Aaron A.



Aaron A. came to us because he wanted to help and be involved in our programs. After we sent him home with a Board Applications, he’s been our Vice President for six years. Aaron advocates for individuals like himself, an other people that can’t advocate for themselves.

“I went to SAIL to ask what programs they had that I could be involved in. I ended up walking out with a board application.”

With Aaron’s help, we’ve been able to achieve many goals in assisting individuals achieve independence.

The only way that somebody stops you from achieving your goals is if you stop yourself.

- Allen A.

Over the past six years, we’ve seen a lot of progress getting people and programs in place to we’re better equipped to service the people of Marquette, and the whole U.P.

Allen B.



Allen B. sustained a spinal cord injury, in 2010, that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Instead of accepting, his life was going to change for the worse, Allen reached out to Superior Alliance for Independent Living for assistance.

“SAIL is there to let individuals know that you can do it. Life isn’t over after a spinal cord injury, or some other injury that makes you feel just gotta be cooped up in your home and you can’t go outside. That’s all false, because I’m more active now than I was before my accident.”

SAIL was able to help Allen B. find financial assistance in purchasing a motorized wheelchair.

I’m more active now than I was before my accident.

- Allen B.

Allen B., who was an avid hockey player and fan, ended up partnering with us to assist in growing an assistive sled hockey program. The Sled Cats are a fan favorite, showing the local community you can have fun and be competitive at any ability.

Bruce Barth



Bruce Barth’s first adaptive bike ride ever (August 8, 2017) with the help of Spar and Sail staff Mo ( Maureen Sullivan) who drives from Marquette to participants in Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw, Ontonagon, and Gogebic counties in Michigan.

Bruce and I (his Mother- Cindy Barth) met Mo at the Ray Kestner Waterfront Park where a whole new world of independence opened to Bruce. Bruce has pedaled exercise bikes before but never an adaptive bike that moves. Bruce was amazed that he could transport himself around the Park. He gained confidence in his abilities to turn right or left or brake and to be safe by watching for people or traffic. Bruce was SO happy to realize that he could actually ride a bike that moved!!!

Mo (Maureen Sullivan) was very dignifying when she taught Bruce how to turn right and left and how to brake and push a button to hold the bike so the bike didn’t move. She also taught good safety rules like looking out for people and traffic.

I did it! I rode around the park on a Bike. Mo was there. I pedaled a bike around the park!

- Bruce Barth

And she asked Bruce very dignifying questions — like why would you ride a bike? Bruce gained confidence in his abilities to ride a bike for exercise and fun and transportation. I don’t think Bruce ever thought about using a bike for transport before because his exercise bikes never moved. Even at dinner tonight (8/8/2017) Bruce was saying— I did it! I rode around the park on a Bike. Mo was there. I pedaled a bike around the park! What a confidence builder—adapted biking could be a new —life exercise skill.

What a Superior Alliance (coming alongside) to help with Independent Living!

Thanks SPAR and SAIL staff!
Cindy Barth

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