Biking is an activity that most people take for granted. Although it is usually considered to be a basic skill that all kids learn, we understand that the vast majority of people with disabilities never have the experience of independently riding a conventional two-wheel bicycle during their lifetime. Research shows that over 80% of people with Autism and 90% of people with Down syndrome never experience this thrill. Defying these odds is why iCan Bike – Gwinnett exists!
Presented by The Guide Project, iCan Bike Gwinnett is a bike camp for people with disabilities that will take place at George Pierce Park in Suwanee from July 15 – 19. The program partners groups of riders with volunteers who assist each rider as they gradually transition from specialized bicycles with rollers for back wheels to traditional, two-wheeled bikes. The camp not only teaches attendees to ride a two-wheel bike independently, but it also promotes inclusion, self-esteem, independence, and confidence for people with disabilities.
How can you help? Well, we are glad you asked.
Volunteers are needed to serve as Spotters. Two volunteers are assigned to each rider to serve as their ‘spotters’ providing physical support, motivation and encouragement throughout the week. While all individuals learn at their own pace, some will be ready to ride on two wheels as soon as the third day, and historically approximately 80% of the individuals who participate in iCan Bike ride a two-wheel bicycle independently (at least 75 feet with no assistance) by the end of our five day program. The remaining 20% make tremendous progress towards this goal and leave our programs accompanied by parents and/or siblings trained as ‘spotters’ to pick up where we leave off!
Just 75 invigorating minutes per day… it may be the most rewarding exercise and emotional experience you’ve ever had.
***NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IS NECESSARY***