Mission in Motion Updates


Generous Gift from Dr. Fred Sammons Ignites

Capital Campaign

Celebrating 100 years of inspiring mobility and independence and building the foundation for 100 more!

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IN-STOCK – ORDER NOW!

Hand-Foot Powered Amtrykes for Children

  • AM12S Hand-Foot Powered Tryke – Early intervention model designed for our youngest and smallest riders to stimulate reciprocal movement and increase range of motion. Fixed drive helps children who might otherwise have problems making a full pedal rotation. Rear steering is standard and provides caregivers with full control of steering, if needed. Permanent hand-only option also available.

Hand Powered Amtrykes for Teens and Adults

  • 1020 and 1024 Hand-Powered Trykes – Great mobility options for teens and adults, with a sliding wheelchair seat for easy on and off transfer. Multi-faceted, adjustable foot platforms provide rider comfort. Veterans Grant Funds still available for these models. Chapters pay shipping costs only.

Recumbent Foot Powered Amtrykes for Teens and Adults

  • JT 2000 and JT2300 Foot Powered Trykes – Full-featured recumbent recreation models for more independent, accomplished riders, for use on paved trails or roads. Both models offer flexible gearing to navigate variable terrain. Veterans Grant Funds still available for these models. Chapters pay shipping costs only.

OUT OF STOCK 

Hand-Foot Powered Amtrykes for Children

  • AM10, AM12 and AM16 Hand-Foot Powered Trykes – Designed for a wide range of children of different sizes and abilities, offering the same benefits as listed above for the AM10 and AM12S. Permanent hand-only option also available.

Adaptive Foot Powered Amtrykes for Children, Teens and Adults

  • 1410, 1412, 1416, 1420 and 1420-X, TP3000 (Tadpole) Foot Powered Trykes – Low center of gravity and adaptable sliding seat system provide added stability and support, especially for riders with low tone or limited trunk control. Comes standard with a fixed drive. Optional free-wheel/disk brake or 3-speed/coaster brake combo for higher functioning riders.

A Double Whammy

Manufacturing Delays and Backorders

Understandably, many of you who are passionate about the Amtryke Program are wondering why we have run out of 1400 Series Amtrykes again. (Note: We currently have an ample supply of all other Amtryke models, about which you’ll find additional information in this section.)

So… why the backorder situation with the 1400 Series? In early November 2020, more than 1,000 Amtrykes (1400 Series) and accessories were ordered from Gomier, our current manufacturer in Taiwan. Prior to COVID, we would have received these items by early March 2021, and could have begun shipping trykes to our AMBUCS Chapters and others. NOTE: Instead, due to manufacturing delays caused by factory shutdowns and a global bicycle parts shortage, we have been told not to expect those items until January 2022 at the earliest.

How did this global shortage of bicycle components – affecting not just Amtryke, but the entire industry – occur? The simple answer starts with a major supply shortage, followed almost immediately by an explosion in demand. More than 90% of the bicycle manufacturing industry is in China and Taiwan. In early 2020, manufacturing facilities in these countries shut down in response to COVID 19, long before it became a concern in the United States. These shutdowns occurred before, and then increased significantly after, the celebration of the Lunar New Year. During that time, Chinese and Taiwanese factories traditionally close for two weeks. The bicycle component manufacturing industry, and others, came to a screeching halt for several months at the worst possible time. Bicycle companies could not get components, build bikes or fill orders.

Factories in China and Taiwan eventually began reopening, but they struggled to catch up on backorders, as COVID-forced absences, quarantines and government sanctions continued. In the midst of these daunting challenges, something happened that possibly no one could have predicted. The global demand for bicycles exploded.

Why did the need for bicycles jump so dramatically? Oddly, in response to the same culprit that shut down factories in the first place…COVID. People were now stuck at home. Schools, gyms, YMCAs, yoga studios, recreational sports leagues, and playgrounds were closed. We were forced to find socially distanced opportunities to get exercise. Parents wanted to get kids off their screens and out of the house. Suddenly, bikes began flying off the racks of big retailers, sporting goods stores, and small bike shops.

From the NPD Group, a large U.S. market research firm: “Sales of bikes under $200 grew more than 200 % in one month. U.S. bicycle sales hit $1 billion by April 2020, up 75% from the previous year. This kind of growth was unheard of and completely unexpected.” John Burke, CEO of Trek Bicycle Company, may have said it best. “It was like there was a really big button that said ‘Global Bike Boom,’ and then someone pushed it!”

Unfortunately, a manufacturing system already struggling mightily with backorders due to shutdowns, wasn’t ready for this boom. They couldn’t catch up… much less, keep up. The demand for the product is higher than it’s ever been, but these businesses – even large national chains – simply can’t get enough bikes. Racks remain empty. It’s disappointing, but certainly not surprising, that our Amtryke program faces the same challenge.

We’re left to try to keep a sense of humor about our dilemma, like the local bike shop owner who recently said, “If you’re a bike shop with no bikes, you’re like a pub with no beer.” Not hard to imagine he might have said this while laughing to keep from crying, and with a cold beverage in hand.

When will the shortage be resolved? Sadly, industry experts don’t expect noticeable improvement until well into 2022. The correction of the supply chain will not be a quick one, because of the sheer number of parts involved. Bicycles – and even more so, specialized Amtrykes – have complex supply chains, with as many as 50 different components. The parts are often sourced from several different countries before the bike is actually manufactured. Gomier, for example, relies on multiple sub-suppliers in mainland China and Taiwan to build our Amtrykes. If just one of these components is not available on time, then the bike – or Amtryke – cannot be built. The manufacturing process is only as strong as its weakest link.

Tony Chen, our contact in the Sales Division at Gomier, sent an email recently, pointing out, “The shortage of raw materials (steel, aluminum, rubber etc.) used to make the parts that are in short supply, has increased our lead time for filling orders from 3 months to 1.5 years! As you can see, circumstances are out of our control with the entire supply chain.”

BCA (Bicycle Corporation of America) and Kent International President Scott Kamler further illustrated this when he shared, “I was told by Shimano several weeks ago, that I should not expect our orders for derailleurs and brakes to be filled until Spring 2022!”

Scott’s statement is consistent with a recent report from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News indicating that Shimano – by far, the largest bicycle component manufacturer in the world – is requiring bicycle manufacturers to place orders 400 days or more in advance. A direct quote from that report: “If you thought the bicycle and parts supply chain was tight in the second half of 2020, then you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! 2021 will be tighter still.”

Shimano controls 70% of the global market for bicycle brakes and gears and a 50% share of other components. This is almost a sole-source supplier situation, which makes the supply chain extremely fragile. This is especially harmful to “smaller players” in the market, such as our Amtryke Program; a fact supported by this quote from “A Plan to Fix the U.S. Bike Shortage,” a recent WIRED article: “Shimano ‘prioritizes scale,’ meaning the bigger players are at the front of the line and smaller players have to wait in the back of the line and pay premium prices for components.” Therein lies our challenge as a small nonprofit provider of adaptive trykes.

Price Increases

The previous paragraph hinted at another unavoidable challenge caused by the COVID bike boom. Yes, price increases. In early December, just a month after ordering the Amtrykes mentioned in the second paragraph of this article, we received notice that prices would be increased significantly. After agreeing to the initial increase, we received notice in early January that prices would be increased yet again. The total of these back-to-back increases averaged approximately 26% and nearly $100 per Amtryke model.

Keep in mind these price increases were on trykes and accessories we had ordered two months prior. We appealed to Gomier representatives, reminding them AMBUCS is a nonprofit volunteer organization. Absorbing such price increases, especially in the midst of COVID and a reduction in revenue of over 50%, would be impossible. Ultimately, we were able to negotiate the increases down to an average of just under 17% and $60 per Amtryke model. Sill a hefty increase.

In recent years, the ARC has simply absorbed smaller incremental price increases from Gomier. These increases were not applied to our discounted chapter prices or those for our retail customers. The significance of the current increases, however, necessitates that we increase prices for chapters and others. We plan to do so only when items are purchased from suppliers at increased rates and will not increase prices for inventory currently in stock. This means the first Amtrykes for which prices will be increased, are those in the 1400 Series (1410, 1412, 1416, 1420 and 1420-XL). The Amtryke Advisory Board approved immediate increases of 20% on those items. Prices on other models and accessories will be increased as current inventory is fully depleted and new stock is ordered. If supplier prices drop, as things return to “normal” following COVID, we will decrease prices for our chapters and customers accordingly.

Tony Chen of Gomier explained the cause of the price jumps this way: “We’ve had to increase prices several times for Amtrykes and accessories because our suppliers have raised prices multiple times during COVID.  In November and December 2020, costs for tires, rims, spokes, brakes, seat clamps, and reflectors increased significantly. Then, at the beginning of 2021, prices were increased for frames and forks, painting and decal application, handlebars and stems, pedals and pedal cranks, axles, seats and seat posts, gear hubs, chains, springs, screws, washers, baskets, and even foam and cardboard for packaging. It’s a very tough situation. We have no choice, but to pay the increased prices for supplies or cancel our orders.”

Scott Kamler of BCA, again echoed the frustration, sharing, “We are getting insane price increases due to currency and parts shortages. Parts suppliers are increasing prices more than 25%, simply because they can. The law of supply and demand.” The increases are not confined to bicycles and components. Inbound freight costs have also increased at a staggering rate.

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports, “The shipping cost for 20’ and 40’ shipping containers has gone ballistic, with typical increases in the 300% – 400% range. There are also major disruptions being caused by waterfront disputes, COVID-related fumigation problems, trade war issues and more. So, next time you hear suppliers talking about freight issues and delays, they’re not making it up!”

That last statement hits close to home.  I had a conversation with our COO Jessica Wall the other day. We were discussing how disappointing it is to share the bad news about backorders, delays, and price increases with you – the dedicated volunteer members of AMBUCS. We’ve come to feel that we sound as if we are making excuses. Please know that the team at the AMBUCS Resource Center wants nothing more than to help you inspire mobility and independence with the gift of an Amtryke.

Shoulders Together…we will keep the AMBUCS mission in motion!


Jay Laurens
CEO, National AMBUCS, Inc.

Go back to April Newsletter


Give a Child the Gift of a Hand-Foot or Hand Powered Amtryke Now!

National AMBUCS CEO Jay Laurens, National AMBUCS President Sue Haywood and Amtryke Advisory Board Chair Aimee Carter discuss why, during such challenging times, AMBUCS chapters should focus on providing hand-foot or hand powered Amtrykes to children.

National AMBUCS CEO Jay Laurens: Almost 30 years ago, thanks to the determination and ingenuity of Sue Haywood and the members of the Longview, Texas Chapter, our very first Amtryke was an early intervention hand-foot powered model. Children who could not ride a traditional foot-powered tricycle, would now be able to ride with their brothers, sisters, and friends…something they could only dream of doing.

While COVID has brought undeniable challenges to our organization over the past year, now is the perfect time for our AMBUCS therapists and chapters to “return to our roots” and focus on providing the gift of mobility and independence to those who need it most. With a sufficient supply of AM10, AM12S, AM12, AM16, and 1020 models in stock, we are well-equipped to meet the needs of children and teenagers who require hand-foot or hand-only propulsion.

National President Sue “Amtryke Mama” Haywood: “It’s about abilities, not disabilities. I’ve said that hundreds of times, while convincing doubtful parents their child would be a perfect candidate for a hand-foot Amtryke, despite the fact they weren’t able to sit up independently or even roll over.

As a therapist working with children from birth to three years old, I am always looking for equipment that inspires them to move around. Of course, thanks to AMBUCS, we have that tool! The Amtryke allows me to put the smallest of children, with the aid of foot cups and pedal blocks, onto an Amtryke. Often, when I’m fitting a rider on a hand-foot or hand-only powered tryke, a parent is hovering over me and telling me all the reasons why it’s not going to work. It’s always a joy to see the smiles and tears on the faces of these same parents, when you give their child a slow push, and then they figure it out and ride away.

These past thirty years have been filled with one success story after another, as little riders gained freedom and independence. At the same time, the hand-foot nature of the Amtryke provides their weak muscles a great therapeutic workout. These children don’t realize that at the time. They’re too busy having fun, riding with their peers and siblings. But they are building up their back, abdominal, leg and arm muscles in the best way possible. They’re strengthening their core and improving flexibility and balance. I can’t think of anything in our “therapy world” that offers all these benefits at the same time. Help us give this incredible gift to more children now.

Amtryke Advisory Board Chair Aimee Carter: “Being a therapist is great, but being an Ambuc makes me a better therapist! Practicing in rural Oklahoma, I see families of children with different abilities struggling… especially this past year. If a child has significant physical challenges, only one parent typically works outside the home, while the other serves as the primary caregiver for the child. Medical bills and other expenses pile up and become overwhelming. During times like these, I am so thankful for AMBUCS.

A hand-foot powered Amtryke is an amazing piece of machinery for children with the greatest level of need. The hand-foot propulsion method makes it the ultimate therapeutic tricycle.  The coordinated movements of the arms and legs result in significant gains in strength, flexibility, coordination and motor planning. It’s a therapists’ DREAM MACHINE!

As Jay and Sue have pointed out, the hand-foot Amtryke is where it all started! As we approach the 100th anniversary of AMBUCS next year, getting back to basics is exactly what we need. Though we are currently having difficulty getting 1400 Series Amtrykes, because of the global demand for bicycles and parts, we have a nice inventory of the hand-foot and hand-only powered trykes. Help us make a child’s dreams come true by providing the gift of an AM10, AM12S, AM12, AM16, or 1020. Let’s make sure the Physical and Occupational Therapists in your chapter and community are properly trained and understand the benefits of these models. You can do a lot with Zoom! 😊 Help us identify children who can benefit from the “original Amtryke” concept, right now!


Progress Report on BCA (Bicycle Corporation of America) Prototypes

By late May, our Amtryke Advisory Board hopes to be testing long-awaited production samples of the first Amtryke model to be assembled by BCA (Bicycle Corporation of America) in South Carolina. Final drawings for these prototypes were approved in late 2020.

We had hoped to have these samples in hand much earlier, but the tooling process was stalled again in early 2021, due to COVID. BCA is working with a partner in China on the design and fabrication of the prototypes. This factory was partially closed in January and early February due to absences forced by COVID. Immediately following this partial shutdown, the factory – along with others in China and Taiwan – closed completely for two weeks in observance of the Lunar New Year. There are fears that additional COVID outbreaks might occur following the New Year Celebration, resulting in extended shutdowns.

After thoroughly testing the production samples of the first BCA Amtryke to ensure that it meets all safety and design specifications and addresses the complex needs of our Amtryke riders, the Amtryke Advisory Board will either issue its “stamp of approval” or request additional modifications.

Once the prototypes are officially approved, the process of procuring all the parts and accessories needed for production will begin. Unfortunately, this process could also be slowed by the global bicycle parts shortage, addressed in more detail in other articles on this page.

We’ll keep you posted.


Honor a Veteran Now with the Gift of a
Hand-Powered or Adult Recumbent Amtryke!

National AMBUCS President Sue Haywood, National AMBUCS CEO Jay Laurens, and Amtryke Advisory Board Chair Aimee Carter share why now is the perfect time for AMBUCS Chapters to focus on providing Amtrykes for Veterans.

National President Sue Haywood: “A few years ago, I was invited down to Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio, for a Veterans’ adaptive cycling event. Over 250 riders of all skill levels were evaluated to make sure they had the correct fit to improve their overall health and endurance. Yes, our Amtrykes were included in the line-up. 😊

I asked Jose’ Laguna, the VA Recreation Therapist in charge of the event, to share his opinion on how Amtrykes benefit Veteran riders. His response? ‘We love Amtrykes! We use them to introduce injured Vets to the joy of riding. They’re easy to get on and off, very adaptable and the rider feels safe.  Riding an Amtryke enables them to gain confidence. They realize they can do it! Many of them progress to other more expensive performance cycles.’

CEO Jay Laurens: “Wow, think about that. They say every journey begins with the first step. Without that ‘first step’ of riding an Amtryke, these veterans – and countless others across our nation – might never have conquered their fear of riding or realized the gift of mobility.

Grant funds are still available to all AMBUCS chapters to be used for the purchase of up to five Amtrykes for Veteran recipients. Chapters are responsible for only the cost of shipping. We have an ample supply of 1020, 1024, JT2000, JT2300 and TP3000 models in stock. Even if your chapter has no history of assisting Veterans, now is the time to do so. Help us get these trykes out of the warehouse and our Veterans on the road!

Amtryke Advisory Board Chair Aimee Carter: “I am genuinely fighting back tears right now, having been provided a stark reminder that we are only guaranteed today. Veterans in our community need us NOW. We shouldn’t wait for tomorrow, just as they didn’t hesitate when answering the call to serve our country.

AMBUCS has connected me with people I would never have crossed paths with otherwise and inspired me to help them. Several months ago, I received a phone call from a local welfare agency desperately seeking support for a child who was struggling with health issues related to obesity. Her family was desperate to find a fun, safe and effective way to increase her activity without worsening her joint pain or frustration. The Amtryke was the perfect solution!

During the assessment of this child, I learned that both her parents had served in the US Army. Knowing that funding was available through our Veterans Grant Program, it became abundantly clear that her parents could also benefit from the gift of an Amtryke.

I am happy to report that, thanks to my generous sisters in the Mountain Metro Chapter of Lawton, Oklahoma, this young lady’s Christmas was made brighter by the gift of an Amtryke. Sadly, her mother – a selfless Veteran who had become my friend – passed away before receiving her new Amtryke at our chapter’s fundraiser, the Trykes ‘N Treads Car Show. This is why I’m so passionate about helping our Veterans. We have the funding and the Amtryke models in stock to meet the needs of our Veterans right now. Let’s make it happen!

Mission In Motion


Veterans “Mission in Motion” Initiative

For many, COVID-19 is taking its toll mentally and emotionally – especially among our Veterans. AMBUCS is needed more than ever now and that’s why we are granting free Amtrykes to veterans. Let’s thank them for their service the best way we know how. Check out our video and details about the initiative below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Amtrykes are provided FREE to AMBUCS Chapters on a first come, first serve basis, exclusively for Veteran recipients.
  • Nearly $50,000 of our initial Veterans Initiative grant amount of $100k remains, so act now! 😊
  • Chapters must agree to cover shipping cost only.
  • Maximum of five adult trykes per chapter are available through this grant opportunity.
  • Intended veteran recipients must complete official Amtryke Request and Waiver forms.
  • Therapist must complete official Amtryke Assessment and Selection forms and follow our updated protocols for Amtryke evaluations, assembly and deliveries/fittings.
  • One of the following adult Amtrykes must be ordered: 1020, 1024, JT2000, JT2300, or TP3000. (Also, a very limited number of 1420-XL models will be available). These models are already stocked in our new South Carolina warehouse, so they will ship quicker than other models.
  • When ordering, make sure you to inform your Amtryke Customer Service Representative that the Amtryke is for a veteran recipient.
  • A select few adult Amtrykes may be ordered for use in VA facilities for rehabilitation or recreation therapy. A chapter representative must first secure a letter from the appropriate contact at the VA facility, indicating how the donated Amtryke will be used, stored, maintained, etc.

Right now, keeping our “Mission in Motion” to help Veterans is more important than ever.  With the gift of an Amtryke, our Veterans are provided with more mobility, security, and independence. Riding increases cardio function, builds strength, impacts their overall health and fitness, and allows them to experience the outdoors in a new way during a time when they may feel a loss in confidence, restricted, and off-balance. Thanks for all you do to inspire mobility and independence!

Mission In Motion

General Membership Info

Safe Practices for Chapters

  • Abide by state and local restrictions re: group meetings. Consider meeting by phone or a free video conferencing platform such as Zoom. Note: meetings are free up to 40 minutes and each participant must have a webcam and speakers.
  • Either postpone installing new officers or get creative with your installations. Crown Carolinas is still open and can fill your plaque orders. They’re operating with a limited staff and schedule: Monday – Thursday from 10:00 – 2:00. Email sales@crowncarolinas.com.
  • If your chapter’s dues include the cost of a meal, in the interim, consider removing that expense from the overall cost of membership to help alleviate the financial burden it may put on some of your members.
  • If you’re a newly elected officer, start planning the year with your quarantine downtime. Check out the online calendar to map out all important National AMBUCS dates.
  • Keep our Mission in Motion. Continue to check back here for updates.

Amtryke Info

COVID-19 Amtryke Guidelines: 

Updated April 28, 2021



January 30, 2021

Welcome to 2021!  I hope you are staying healthy and are ready for this new year to get back to whatever your normal is. AMBUCS is still open for business – not the way you probably remember it, but we are still serving in our communities and providing ramps and Amtrykes across America. Does it look different? Yes, it does. Is different okay? Yes, it is! We have constantly made lemonade out of lemons and do our best to better the lives of those who need our help. As always, we will continue to do this…  just differently.

First off, let me apologize for my delay in communicating with you. I promised improved communication from the top down and have been a bit slow to start. Of course, a knee surgery and eight weeks of IVs did not help the situation, but now I am up and healing and ready to get started again.

Despite all the bad of last year, some good has come out of it: new ways to communicate! FaceTime, Zoom, and other programs have emerged that allow you to communicate with your fellow Ambucs without leaving your home. (You can even stay in your PJs!) Virtual meetings are a great substitute for in-person meetings, especially if you are in an area with strict in-person gathering guidelines. We need to stay in communication at local, regional, and national levels. Let me know if your chapter is interested in having myself or another National Board member as a guest speaker at one of your virtual meetings, and we will patch in as our schedules allow. Times are challenging, but AMBUCS is still open and we are here to help.

The following info is subject to change due to the existing volatility of the bicycle market…
We currently have all Amtryke models in stock (very limited supply of models 1410, 1412, 1416, 1420 and 1420-XL), so if you are planning to order trykes we recommend that you do so as soon as possible, however we ask that you do not order Amtrykes or accessories to stockpile. We have 1,000 Amtrykes on order, and the most recent date we have been given for arrival is August or September, but that date could easily be pushed back even later due to the overwhelming global demand for bike parts. The backordered rear steering kits that were supposed to arrive in November (models 1516, 1520 & 1520 XL) are now scheduled to arrive in early February. Now is a great time to take advantage of our Veteran’s “Mission in Motion” Initiative where chapters get FREE Amtrykes for Veterans by just covering the cost of shipping. In addition, we have an ample supply of early-intervention, hand-foot models (AM10, AM12S and AM12), so we encourage therapists to identify potential recipients for those models as well.

Also, considering the continuing COVID crisis, the National AMBUCS Board of Directors held a Zoom meeting on January 21, 2021 to discuss the safety and feasibility of holding in-person Regional Conferences this year. The protocols agreed upon may be found here on our website.

I challenge you to find new needs of others in your community who cannot get out to help themselves because of COVID-19 restrictions. Our organization prides itself on helping others. Now is the time to step up and find those “others.”  It might not be an Amtryke or a wheelchair ramp, but anything we can do right now to help our neighbors in need is important. Do you know a senior who cannot get out right now and would appreciate a meal delivered to them? Do it! Be creative, then share it with us all. If you have had a successful fundraiser during the pandemic, let us know what you did and how you did it so other chapters can replicate it and raise some funds. We might not have large Amtryke giveaways, but one at a time – safely – is a good start.  A ramp build with face masks and social distancing works too. So, get after it! A lot of things will work if we just give it a try.

THANKS,

 

 

Sue Haywood
National President, National AMBUCS, Inc.