The Zommunique logo June '23


Empowering Mobility: DIRT Dad Fund and Zwift Grant Team Up to Gift Adaptive Cycle to 4-Year-Old Battling Rare Disease

United for a Cause—DIRT Zwift Team Rallies to Raise $6,000 in 24 Hours to Create a Lasting Impact for a Member's Family

Lucy is the smart, sweet, and special daughter of DIRT Zwift team member Colin Kipping-Ruane. Lucy suffers from an extremely rare disease called Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome. The developmental delays in movement and speech make interacting with the environment challenging. Lucy can’t walk without supervision and the support of a walker and leg braces because of weakness in her legs and trunk.

Zwift DIRT Dad Fund Bike For Lucy

During a recent physical therapy session, Lucy’s therapist had the innovative idea, “Let’s see if Lucy could pedal a bike.” Her father and DIRT member, Colin Kipping-Ruane, reported that her response was nothing short of amazing.

Lucy got on the bike and seemed excited and curious about this new activity. She began to pedal the bike and required assistance to pedal and turn. Lucy practiced and then started to pedal all by herself. Then she signed “more,” indicating she wanted to keep riding. She was so proud of herself. Watching Lucy pedal a bike is inspiring!”

The more Lucy practiced, the stronger her legs became, and she had a newfound curiosity for her surroundings. It opened her therapist’s eyes to the enormity of the bike’s potential impact on Lucy’s physical and emotional development. The PT explained to Colin that getting Lucy a bike of her own would be life-changing, allowing her to explore her environment and participate in family activities safely. 

Moreover, the leg strength and coordination improvements make walking without help a realistically attainable goal for Lucy’s future.

Colin agreed as any father would when presented with the possibility of improving the life of one of their children. It was an opportunity that was too good to pass up, except for one seemingly insurmountable obstacle—the pricetag. An adaptive cycle like the one Lucy used in therapy was upwards of $6,000, and the cost wasn’t something his young family could afford.

In stepped Project Mobility, an Illinois-based non-profit, “Changing Lives One Bike at a Time.” Through its fundraising efforts, the charitable organization has given hundreds of children like Lucy the gift of mobility. 

Colin learned that Project Mobility hosted an annual adaptive bike giveaway, and the deadline was rapidly approaching. Thinking that this was his best chance of getting his daughter the bike she needed to walk one day, he set off the find the votes he would need to win the contest. 

“The DIRT community has always been there to support me as a husband and a father,” shares Colin, so that was one of the places he immediately turned. He shared the plea on the DIRT Zwift Team’s Facebook page. The timing couldn’t have been better for the father-daughter team.

Shortly before Colin’s fortuitous post, the DIRT Dad Fund received its own gift. Zwift recognized the DIRT Dad Fund’s commitment to the virtual cycling community by awarding the DIRT Zwift team-inspired 501(c)3 charitable organization with an inaugural microgrant. Zwift recognizes the importance of supporting our global community and the organizations its users are passionate about. The virtual cycling platform created the Zwift Microgrant program in 2023 to help non-profits work toward their missions.

Included with the $5,000 monetary donation, Zwift also granted the DIRT Dad Fund twenty yearly subscriptions. The fund’s Land Lucy a Bike campaign leveraged the Zwift subscriptions and the generous support of the DIRT Zwift team community to raise over $6,000 in under 24 hours. 


Lucy received her gift of mobility on June 11, 2023, during Project Mobility’s Everybody Rides event. When asked if Lucy’s father, Colin, would like to describe his emotions, he said this during a speech in front of a crowd of cyclists and bike recipients.

Listen to Colin’s heartwarming and emotional speech!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I stand before you today with a heart full of gratitude. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the DIRT DAD Fund and Project Mobility. Your generosity and dedication to making a difference in the lives of individuals with mobility challenges are truly inspiring.


We are here today to celebrate a special little girl named Lucy. Lucy was diagnosed with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects her development and mobility. Despite her diagnosis, Lucy is a vibrant and spirited child, full of life and determination. However, her condition poses significant challenges. Simple joys that many of us take for granted, like riding a bike, are not so simple for Lucy.


But today, thanks to the DIRT DAD Fund, Lucy has received an adaptive bicycle. It is not just a bicycle; it’s a symbol of freedom, independence, and joy. It’s a tool that allows Lucy to explore the world around her and experience the thrill of riding alongside her siblings. This bike is a testament to Lucy’s resilience and refusal to let her condition define her.


DIRT stands for Dads Inside Riding Trainers and is a cycling group that is a brotherhood of like-minded dads and moms who love to make time for cycling indoors around their work and family obligations. The DIRT DAD Fund and its mission to assist proud DADs experiencing challenges and financial hardship has made this possible. Your commitment to harnessing “The DIRT Effect” has profoundly impacted Lucy’s life. The adaptive bicycle you’ve provided is more than a gift; it’s an investment in Lucy’s future, a testament to her spirit, and a beacon of hope for all children facing similar challenges.


Project Mobility, your dedication to creating opportunities for people of all abilities to lead active, fulfilling lives is truly commendable. Your work in providing adaptive bicycles and promoting inclusive cycling is changing lives, one bike at a time.


In conclusion, I express our deepest appreciation to the DIRT DAD Fund and Project Mobility. Your generosity has not only brought joy to Lucy’s life but also instilled hope and courage in all of us. You’ve shown us we can overcome every obstacle with the proper support and resources. Thank you for making a difference and reminding us of the power of community, compassion, and resilience.


Thank you,

Colin Kipping-Ruane

Zwift DIRT Dad Fund Bike For Lucy father giving speech

The look on Lucy’s face when we loaded the bike into the car is a memory we will cherish forever,” shares Colin. 


The bike has opened up a new world of possibilities for Lucy. It has allowed her to participate in activities with her family and friends and serves as a tool for her physical development. The bike, explicitly tailored to Lucy’s needs by the good folks at Project Mobility, with the correct seat height, foot straps, and chest harness, has given her a sense of security and independence. 

Zwift DIRT Dad Fund Bike For Lucy with siblings

During her weekly physical therapy sessions, Lucy has been able to use the bike to strengthen her legs, with the goal of one day being able to navigate stairs safely. 


Just this past week,” Colin reports, “Lucy went the farthest and fastest she has ever gone on the bike that her therapist and mother had to run to catch up with her.” 


The sight of Lucy speeding away, giggling and pedaling with all her might, is a testament to her spirit and determination. Lucy’s new bike has been an invaluable gift to the Kipping-Ruane family. They have begun taking daily rides in the park, Lucy excitedly tagging along, her face beaming with wonder and enthusiasm for the new world her bike opened to explore.

Zwift DIRT Dad Fund Bike For Lucy with Dad Colin
Zwift DIRT Dad Fund Bike For Lucy family photo

These outings have become cherished family adventures, bringing us all closer together. As her parents, we are overwhelmed with joy seeing the happiness on Lucy’s and her siblings’ faces during these rides. The bike has given Lucy a sense of independence and brought our family a new level of unity and shared experiences,” Colin shares.

That’s what “The DIRT Effect” is all about! Thank you, Lucy, Zwift, and Project Mobility, for reminding us of the strength of unity, charity, and the virtual cycling community’s indomitable spirit.

Visit The DIRT Dad Fund Store to support our endeavor to enhance the virtual cycling community! A percentage of every purchase goes to the fund.

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