A cyclist attempted to scold a man with disabilities for his motorized, adaptive equipment in an Indiana park.
Video of the incident was shared on Facebook by Tom Morris, who explained that he posted the video to bring awareness.
‘The only reason I posted that video was because I want to advocate for people that, maybe, don’t have the ability to advocate for themselves,’ Morris said.
He added that the takeaway from the incident shouldn’t be anger towards the couple, but ‘kindness.’
Footage shows Morris traveling down a dirt path this week with his adaptive equipment when he encounters a couple standing on the trail.
‘Seriously dude, you’re not supposed to have e-bikes on this thing,’ the male cyclist says.
‘This is a handicapped piece of equipment,’ Morris answers, to which the cyclist replies, ‘and?’
Morris this week was riding his adaptive equipment in an Indiana park when he encountered a cycling couple on the path
The man (pictured) confused Morris’ adaptive equipment with an e-bike and attempted to reprimand him for using it on the path
‘Show me the rules saying that you’re allowed to do this,’ the cyclist presses. ‘Come on buddy, you’re breaking the rules of the park.’
Morris then interjects to explain that ‘it’s a handicap piece of equipment and I can’t walk.’
The cyclist appears to sigh and walk away, while the female cyclist tells Morris that he ‘should have led with that.’
The footage ends with the two men still discussing the matter as Morris drives away.
The video ends with the female cyclist telling Morris he ‘should have led with that’ and the two men exchanging words as Morris leaves the area
‘2020 has been quite a challenge for all of us but remember no matter what, be KIND to each other,’ wrote Morris on Facebook.
In a second video, he further urged his followers to show compassion for the couple and for other people in their daily lives.
‘I want you to remember one thing that I wrote yesterday when I posted that video, and I said kindness,’ Morris said.
He said that he did not post the video immediately after the incident happened, but changed his mind after seeing a child with disabilities on social media.
‘When I woke up the next morning, I opened up some social media and the very first person on my feed was an eight-year-old little boy with Spinal Bifida,’ he said.
‘And all I can think is, what if this had happened to him, or someone like him, who doesn’t have a voice or a platform like I do.’
Morris (pictured): ‘The message is kindness. As we move forward, man, I would just appreciate if we could just look at people with a bit more empathy, and try and get out there to make this place better’
Morris then said the video was ‘never meant with intentions to cause harm or do ill will to those two people.’
‘I don’t know them. I know them from one interaction and I have nothing but love and kindness for them. This isn’t a revenge thing – it’s not anything like that…’
He urged commentors and people who viewed the video to not disparage the couple.
‘What that man and woman’s comments…they weren’t very nice, but some of the stuff that’s being written in those messages are challenging,’ Morris said.
‘And that’s not who I am, that’s not what the message is. The message is kindness.
‘As we move forward, man, I would just appreciate if we could just look at people with a bit more empathy, and try and get out there to make this place better.’
An updated video on Morris’ Facebook revealed he spoke with Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Terry Coleman, who said adaptive equipment is allowed on all state trails
Morris revealed in a final update that he was contact by Indiana’s former Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Terry Coleman, who explained he was well within his right to use adaptive equipment.
‘He said what I’m on is not an e-bike, it’s an adaptive piece of equipment and adaptive equipment is allowed on all of the trails throughout all of Indiana,’ said Morris.
He added that Coleman said the state had purchased around 12 ‘off-roading wheelchairs’ that give access to people who do have disabilities and need.