READING, Pa. - A local paraplegic man isn't letting his disability get in the way of riding his motorcycle.
"It just feels like it gives you a lot more independence," said Bobby Evans, of Reading, who can be seen cruising around the city in a wheelchair attached to his 1995 Harley Davidson.
The chair rests in a platform sidecar, from where he uses handle bars to control the clutch, gears and brakes.
"It's really easy to control. My weight in the sidecar is a counterbalance to the bike so all three wheels are nicely planted," he said.
Evans told 69 News that he lost the use of his legs during a tragic hunting accident at age 13.
He didn't become interested in motorcycles until years later, in 1990, when a teammate on his wheelchair basketball team had a handicap-accessible bike. Evans eventually bought that motorcycle, and drove it for more than a decade before purchasing his Harley.
"It's nice that he has something that he can get out with. He's able to be very mobile," said neighbor Heidi Youse. "It's great. Everybody knows who he is."
Although Evans' bike-and-sidecar combination isn't the first of its kind, his handicapped motorcycle license plate was the first issued in Pennsylvania, he said.
Before that, with the help of the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE), he fought to become the first Pennsylvanian to receive a handicapped decal on his motorcycle license plate.
Today, he enjoys riding his Harley from point A to B, driving it on a daily basis in the summer.
"I often get caught in the rain, and you just ride through it. It's not that big of a deal," he said.
Allentown, PA 18102