I Can Bike

6 Aug

Most of us who ride a bike believe everyone should ride a bike. When we aren’t riding we’re frequently preaching the gospel of riding to anyone who will listen. Or, pretends to.

We try to get family members, friends, even strangers to give cycling a try – or as is the case for most adults anyway – another try. My husband and I bought our grandson and granddaughter their first bikes and helped teach them to ride. Spreading the love of cycling – something as natural to any cyclist as, well, riding a bike.

So when I learned of a program to teach individuals with disabilities how to ride a bike, I knew I needed to help. Besides my affinity for bikes, I have an affinity for people with disabilities. I worked in the field of disabilities for 20 plus years, so the I Can Bike program seemed like a great thing for me to be a part of.

I Can Bike is a part of the I Can Shine program. I Can Shine focuses on teaching persons with disabilities a recreational skill by providing supported experience in the recreational skill – like riding a bike. It is a nationwide program which utilizes local volunteers and instructors to teach various recreational skills.

The Oklahoma City I Can Bike camp runs all week, offering 40 individuals the opportunity to learn to ride a two-wheeled bike on their own. What could be better!

Each day is divided into 5 sessions of 75 minutes each, with 8 “campers” in each session. Yesterday was my first day with my camper and we had a blast. He worked hard, but had fun and by the end of the session had progressed in his riding ability. I had progressed too in learning the right ways to support him without getting in his way or over-helping. A skill, I’ll tell you – besides I got a decent workout walking/jogging along while he pedaled. He’s a sweetheart; I’m looking forward to working with him again today.

Our goal is for each camper to be able to ride his or her own bike by the end of the week.

Check out the I Can Shine/I Can Bike website to learn how you can be involved, including making a donation. I’ll keep you posted on how my camper is doing as the week goes, so check back.

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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