GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – ArtPrize Seven kicks off Wednesday, and while visitors from around the world will make the city its busiest, there are alternative ways to check out three square miles’ worth of art.
Mark Hendershot has been clipped into his pedicab for eight years, and has overcome tough odds to get back to biking and helping others through his business Green Machine Pedicabs. His passion for biking is a contagious positivity.
“I feel blessed to be here right now,” said Hendershot.
A former world-class professional mountain bike racer, Hendershot turned his love of biking and his hometown of Grand Rapids into his business. With Green Machine Pedicabs Hendershot pedals people through his city year-round: during ArtPrize he takes customers so close to installations they could touch them.
Hendershot offers customized tours through the city and his business pays it forward.
“Just about everybody has some sort of impairment, that’s why it’s so rewarding,” said Hendershot.
Hendershot told FOX 17 that 95 percent of his customers have mobility issues or special needs, something he is no stranger to.
“It means the world to me, because I’ve been disabled myself, I know how hard it is to sit there and not get out,” he said. “I just love to have the opportunity to show people this amazing event.”
Diagnosed with brain cancer December 2013, Hendershot recently finished therapy with flying colors. When he couldn’t bike he took on another challenge and trained his new pup Walter as a therapy dog.
“When I was in the hospital I had therapy dogs come visit me and that made me want to pay it forward,” said Hendershot.
An unrelenting spirit, Hendershot celebrates his one year anniversary back on his pedicab, pedaling compassion.
“What it all really boils down to is just being a good person,” said Hendershot.
As of Monday, Hendershot said his tours during ArtPrize are 70 percent full. To schedule a tour either see the company website GreenMachineGR.com, email Mark@greenmachinegr.com, or call (616) 560-1728.