Because the couple now have two bikes, they announced Friday that they plan to donate their old tandem to the Washington State School for the Blind.
“We want them to feel the same way we do when we ride our tandem,” Harly Forbes said.
One of Courtney’s cousins is blind and has never ridden a bicycle, which helped the couple choose where to donate the bike, Courtney’s mother Kimberlee Turner said. “I’m real-ly proud of them. They’ve got the biggest hearts,” she said.
Before either can be ridden, both tandems will need some repairs — which is where Don Joling steps in.
Joling, who hadn’t met the Forbeses until Friday, followed the twists and turns of their story and felt compelled to join the community show of compassion.
“I have the ability to do something,” he said. “It’s pretty straightforward … I knew I had to be involved.”
Although not a bike mechanic by trade, Joling is the director of the bike racing team Therapeutic Associates PDX Cycling and has a bike workshop at his Vancouver home.
He has spoken with the owner of Bike ‘N’ Hike of Portland, a sponsor of Joling’s racing team, who has agreed to discount or donate parts to the couple.
Joling said he was happy that the couple is donating the bike to the blind school.
“Kids from the blind school ride by my house all the time,” he said, describing teachers steering from the front of the bike while students pedal from the back seat. “They always seem really happy.”