TREMONT, Ill. (WMBD) – Summer is in full swing and you’ll probably start to see more motorcyclists out and about. In Tremont, one duo is working to make riding more accessible, especially when it comes to veterans. 

“…We’re building for handicapped people and making it accessible for them to be able to ride. A lot of wounded vets, a lot of older vets can’t ride anymore because they can’t hold a bike up. So we try to facilitate the needs of those people,” said Chris Donnelly.

Donnelly and his friend, Dan Board own Semper Fi Cycle. 

“I grew up in a family that you know drag race, had cars all my life,” Board said. “That was something that we always did. So it kind of transitioned into more of a motorcycle aspect as I got older.”

The two bought Semper Fi Cycle back in December from Donnelly’s father, Mike who is a Marine. Even though Donnelly was in the Army, the business’ name remains, paying tribute to the Marine motto. 

“My whole family were marines and when—-my dad is part of a Marine Corps motorcycle club and he’s been riding with the Marines forever,” Donnelly said. “And all his friends are Marines and everything in his life is Marine. So when he opened the business, you know he knew he wanted to do something to give back to the community.”

Some of the duo’s work involves converting two-wheel bikes into three-wheel trikes, customizing handlebars and brakes to meet riders’ different accessibility needs. 

“So if somebody doesn’t have a foot or a leg, we can change the controls on the bikes so that they can use the handlebars to control or change the brake to another side and we can do things like that that a lot of places can’t do.”

Chris Donnelly

Board said, “When I am here working on bikes, it’s a relaxing feeling. You know, when I’m in the back working it takes away all my stress.”

It’s a passion project that the two say has a widespread community impact. 

“Our focus is to be able to make it to where people can ride again,” said Donnelly.

Semper Fi Cycle is working to raise money to build a trike to give to a wounded veteran. If you’d like to donate, you can visit the shop at 200 Baer Rd. in Tremont or call (309) 925-5191.