Many of us enjoy riding a bike. But for those with
disabilities, it's not so easy to master. The Yes I Can Bike! training program
uses specialized training to get them going.
Two years ago, Elizabeth Romanick, 14, didn't know how to ride a bike. For those with disabilities, bike riding tends to be more difficult and requires more training.
"I get all, like, nervous about it, like, I was kind of shaking."
She was able to take off after attending the Yes, I can Bike! camp, formerly known as "Lose the Wheels."
"It's a national program designed to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a standard two wheel bicycle," said director Heather Lundeen.
Instead of using training wheels, Yes I Can Bike! uses specially designed rollers.
"They progress through rollers. So, they get thinner and thinner so that the bike becomes more tippy, more actual, like a true bike," Lundeen said.
And specially-designed lesson plans for people with disabilities.
"It teaches me how hold onto me and when I stop, I grab this handle," Romanick said.
To qualify, someone with a disability just needs to be older than eight years, be able to walk independently, and side step left to right. The camp runs for five days. By the third day, most are able to ride a bike on their own.
"Makes my mom so proud of me," Romanick said.
And that's the goal of the camp; to pedal confidence and share the joy of bike riding with all. Now, Romanick loves to ride her bike with her friends.
"Sometimes, it's like, ‘Hey guys! Wanna come with me? Wanna bike with me?' It makes me feel like I am happy and enjoying it. It's awesome to ride a bike!"
GABR offers scholarships to pay for a third of the $150 class fee, which will be held August 5-9.