Here’s what some of our 2013 Hosts had to say when asked if our Staff met their expectations and to provide general comments about bike camp:
"Yes, staff met and exceeded expectations! Everyone was so helpful and didn't make me feel like I was 'bothering' with my loads of questions as a first year host. Tremendous experience! Feedback from parents was 100% positive regarding staff and camps as a whole."
“Yes! 100%. Staff did an awesome job!”
“Staff were wonderful. They were professional, efficient, on task and very friendly. Very organized!! The camp has been rewarding and extremely successful.”
“Yes, we have many riders – Yea!!! Staff worked well with campers, families and volunteers. Overall very successful camp. We were pleased with their knowledge and skill.”
“They more than met my expectations! Staff were fantastic! They were so great with the kids and their knowledge was superb! I know that a lot of the parent’s were blown away by their child’s progress! We got so much positive feedback from the parents and volunteers. iCan Shine is a great organization.”
“Staff was awesome. They met and exceeded any and all my expectations. Five stars. They made everyone feel a part of the team and leaning process for the riders. iCan Shine is a positive and encouraging organization providing a wonderful opportunity for individuals to improve their independence and confidence. Staff is professional, knowledgeable and caring.”
“Yes, staff was very friendly to all the families, volunteers and additional camp staff. Communication with them was great! It made camp go very smoothly!”
“100% met my expectations! Amazing people working towards educating individuals with special needs is not always the easiest thing but they both met and exceeded my expectations every day of camp. Such an amazing program and what a great group of people. This whole experience was a great journey and I am really looking forward to next year!”
“Yes, staff was AWESOME! Always texted/e-mailed, called promptly, wonderful enthusiasm, cheerful and professional presence at camp. Overall, we are extremely pleased.”
“Yes, above and beyond. Great staff that did a fantastic job of training new staff. It was hard to tell who was being trained and who were the lead staff. Well done. The staff were wonderful! So friendly, easy to work with and great with the kids! Staff made everything so easy. This was the first camp I managed and it was so much less stressful due to the helpfulness of staff, online forms and responsiveness of staff! Thank you!”
“Absolutely!! Staff was awesome. Positive, hardworking and knowledgeable. Fantastic experience. Very positive week and good feedback from parents! Great experience, we are looking forward to next year’s camp.”
“Absolutely. Floor directive and technical work was outstanding. Staff engagement with riders, parents and volunteers was exceptional. Staff, as always, was fantastic, very knowledgeable and efficient at getting sessions up and running.”
“Yes! Great! Absolutely! We really enjoyed the staff. We love the staff’s composure no matter what crazy situation may be going on. Both of their easy-going attitudes work well for this camp and these parents. They worked so hard to get all the riders to riding!”
“Yes, they were a great team and worked well with all of the kids. They built up a great rapport with all of the riders. Another awesome camp week!”
“Yes, the crew was really great and easy to work with… All staff is great and easy to work with.”
“Yes, the staff were Super Stars!”
“The staff more then met my expectations. They were professional and motivated the kids.”
“Yes. Both staff were just wonderful to work with. Staff was very knowledgeable, helpful and directive which I appreciated. So helpful. I heard many parents comment on how wonderful they were. They were great. I love the improvements to your website and overall process. I appreciate the organization and coordination of your staff.”
“Yes! Staff were professional and great with the riders and parents.”
“Above and beyond. Excellent communication with bikers and parents. Well exceeded our expectations. Cannot say enough wonderful things about the staff. They also work great together. Love this program.”
“Yes, staff was upbeat and energetic. They worked well together.”
“Absolutely! Staff exceeded my expectations! They went above and beyond with each kid and parent, even staying after sessions to help with individual kids. Their positive attitudes and calm demeanors really made my job easy!”
“Absolutely! Staff exceeded my expectations! They were knowledgeable, informative, innovative and overall amazing. This was a life-changing program for both the participants and myself.”
“Yes, definitely! Very well organized staff! Kept us well informed of what day-to-day activities would be. Staff worked well together and were awesome with the kids! Very positive attitude from staff… good problem-solving skills… did an excellent job for this camp! Very knowledgeable, motivating and enthusiastic!!”
“Yes, they were wonderful to work with! We were able to work well as a team. I was impressed with how well both staff responded to both the parents as well as the children. They listened to us and vice versa. You are very lucky to have such a dynamic duo. You can really feel their passion for the program and the children. Thank you for such a wonderful week!”
“Absolutely! The staff was excellent answering my questions and those of volunteers and parents. Great communication prior to camp. Excellent amount of time given to each rider. Great week!”
“Most definitely. Yes and beyond. It was really exciting to see the day-to-day progression of teaching and acquiring of skills. Remarkable experience for myself, volunteers and students. I have nothing but kudos for the website, administration, ‘boots on the ground’ staff (most important). I will highly recommend the camp and look at bringing it back…”
“Yes. Staff were personable and professional and worked hard to get the kids riding. They related well to the campers. They reached out to the parents to encourage them and their riders. Another well run and successful camp.”
“Absolutely! Staff were outstanding! The gentlemen were amazing to work with… Fabulous success.”
“Yes! Excellent communication. Staff were awesome, timely, friendly and professional.”
“Definitely! Particularly appreciated staff stepping in when there were behavioral issues. They did not expect volunteers to deal with bad behaviors alone. It was great that they came prepared with various visual supports… As always, enjoyed getting to know the marvelous staff!! We are impressed with the skills, patience and level of devotion with such a young staff!”
“Yes. The staff were a great team! Everything ran smoothly and they were easy to work with and enthusiastic.”
“Absolutely! This was the third year we hosted the camp… Parents said it was the best camp so far… The camp was awesome – everyone loved the staff.”
“We enjoyed the experience and how knowledgeable they were about the process of learning to ride a bike. We were impressed by the percentage of independent riders by the end of camp.”
“Yes, both staff were excellent.”
“Yes, they were friendly, energetic, compassionate and very accommodating!”
“They went beyond our expectations. We had phenomenal feedback from families and the public.”
“Definitely, both were super positive and willing to work through any difficult situation. Our riders all improved tremendously thanks to their great teamwork. We love the program as do all of our parents!”
“YES!!!!!!! Fantastic Staff. They were patient, efficient, knowledgeable, polite, firm and wonderful with the children. Every parent loved them. You guys get an A++++”
“100%. Professional. Motivated. Knowledgeable. Exactly what we and the campers needed! “
“Yes, staff was great. They were helpful, friendly and fun to work with. I think they are wonderful, represent Shine well and truly care about what they are doing. It was fantastic to work with them.”
“Exceeded our expectations. Staff was wonderful. They had excellent communication with us.”
“Great Program. The staff was great!”
“Sure did! Staff was AWESOME! Very supportive with families and riders. Everyone was very helpful and supportive in organizing our first camp. E-mails and phone calls were always returned quickly. Keep up the great work!”
“Absolutely! Very on top of things. Camp program is so well laid out by iCan Shine so minimal contact is needed.”
“Above and Beyond. Best year yet!”
“It was a great week. Staff did an excellent job executing the camp. We received wonderfully positive feedback from the families.”
“Beyond our expectations! The parents are so pleased and happy with the camp which is wonderful to see. Staff were wonderful to work with. They were wonderful with the parents, kids and volunteers. We would love to work with them in the future. They are truly special people.”
“Exceeded our expectations!”
"I can't emphasize how amazing this program is. My son is 10 and participated this year. He was afraid to try. Then excited. The entire staff was amazing, helpful and kept his confidence soaring. I honestly didn't know if he'd ever be able to ride independently or without training wheels. Now, he can't be stopped. He had a new sense of freedom and pride. Don't shy away if unsure. Please let your child try this. Thank you so much! We attended the Monroeville PA bike camp."
"My daughter Maryann went to the iCan Bike camp this summer. She did not want to go and was mad that she had to go. The volunteers and staff made it fun. Her fears began to fade away and she learned to ride and enjoy it. She is really proud of her self and her shiny new pink bike!"
"I love to bike ride. And I was hoping my children would pick up some of that enthusiasm. Kariem had not and (quite honestly) did not want to. But I was determined to find a program that would help him. An administrator at the ARC of Union County told me about the iCan Bike program. With an 80% success rate, it was worth a shot.
My husband took the 35-40 minute drive everyday to Hoboken NJ for a week. That was the closest bike camp we could find. As the week progressed and I looked at the photos & video of Kariem, I was absolutely amazed! He can really ride a bike!
The program's lead bike instructors Amy and Clayton were great. The volunteers were equally as good (thank you Hannah and Jamie). They even found a way to incorporate Kariem's self-talk into a game of Autobot (Kariem) chasing Decepticons (the volunteers). It got him to ride a while longer which helped to build his skills and form a better connection. This was pure genius!
I cannot say enough about this amazing program. When we go for our first family bike ride in the park, I'll be sure to send photos. Hoboken Family Alliance along with iCan Bike instructors & volunteers made it all possible. Thank you so much!"
"My son just learned how to ride a bike this week in Akron, Ohio with Kenan and Lily. He was so excited to learn how to ride! Kenan and Lily were very patient and knowledgeable. I really appreciate their commitment to this program! Jacob had 2 great volunteers helping him also. Morgan was especially helpful to Jacob by being very encouraging and getting him pumped up and excited each day. Morgan wasn't able to be there on Friday, but took the extra step of texting us while Jacob was at his session to encourage him that way!
Jacob is so proud to be riding and we can't wait to ride together as a family!"
"My son Ayden has high functioning autism, severe ADHD, and sensory processing issues. He attended camp this year and it was amazing! I've never seen him stay so focused! Usually he does something for a few minutes and wants to move on to something else. He wanted to ride the whole time, and was riding a 2 wheel bike by himself on day 3!!! I was so happy, I cried!
We are so grateful for the camp, and Genny an Lea are wonderful amazing people! Thank you so much for everything you have done for Ayden!!! I have to say this was one of the best experiences of my life, to see my son achieve this with these amazing people! Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart!"
"During the week of June 23, 2014 our daughter Davanna attended the Amazing Bike Camp. Davanna suffered a Traumatic Injury on a snowy January night in 2009 and has not been on a bicycle in 6 years. Through the compassion of awesome of support volunteers who walked with Davanna directly all week, (...and God's Grace) she rode a bicycle independently on Thursday, indoors and then outdoors on Friday! She could not have done this without all the wonderfully caring and knowledgable staff! The staff and volunteers were a Blessing to Davanna! THANK~YOU!! The Feyrer Family of Butler PA"
"Thank you to all that had some hand in this camp. It has been a great thing for our son, Gavin.
Our story begins back in 2013, when Gavin had no desire at age 8 to ride a bike. His idea was to run along side of the bike and push the bike so that it would sail away without him on it. Not our idea of fun. But he just had no desire to ride the bike. So we found out about the bike camp and it was a great thing to have him try. It was worth a shot! What's the worse that can happen?
So last year started like any other day when he would ride a bike. Wanting nothing to do with the bike. But with the help of the instructors and the volunteers, they encouraged Gavin to get on and stay on the bike. After a day or two, Gavin was riding the bike (with assistance of course) but was wanting to stay on the bike and ride. There was no more attention on wanting to push the bike or run alongside of the bike. To us, that was progress. It didn't matter to us if he was riding with or without training wheels...HE WAS RIDING A BIKE!
With such progress the camp allowed him in year 1, we knew year 2 would be better. The rest of the Summer of 2013, we worked with him on riding, as well as keeping his feet on the peddles and focusing on where he was going. By end of summer he was keeping his feet on peddles and peddling, but still lacked focus. The second part of this story is where it leads us this year for Year #2 for bike camp.
As Summer 2014 approached, we knew we wanted to sign Gavin up again for camp. We didn't want to miss out. We just knew that with such great progress last year....this year would be better. But once again....riding on two wheels was not our main goal. Our main goal was having Gavin focus on where he was going while riding the bike and all that goes into riding a bike. This year of bike camp, was another great year. He got right on the bike and took off. He rode with conviction but lacked the ability to focus looking forward. So his two helpers decided to try to have him focus on the track pattern lanes to help aide him in riding with attention to detail. This allowed him to focus on the task at hand and not what was all around him. One of the other things that I thought helped him was having one of the volunteers run backwards while giving him a sticker for every reward that he achieved. Gavin still doesn't know how to ride without training wheels but the help, the support, the advice we received from the camp and all its volunteers was above and beyond anything we expected. Once again, riding without training wheels will be a goal in the near future, but first things first.
This year out of the two years we have been apart of the Bike Camp program, was the best year yet. So many factors went into making this one of the best…. great people who run the program with such passion for the camp and our children, the overwhelming numbers of volunteers, and location. I truly can't say enough about this wonderful program that aides our children to do what most other children can do.
This year to us, was another success story…. This camp allows Gavin to fail without judgment and to get back up and start over with intense passion of wanting better for himself.
Thank you again for all that this camp does provide but to all those who helped keep it alive. Your passion and your heart really and truly shine through this camp. Keep it up! Great Job!
See you next year!"
"Our son participated in the iCan Bike program in July of last year in Toledo. He logged over 100 miles after the program last year and this year he has already hit 126 miles. He is really pushing his parents! He has reached a new level of self confidence and independence."
"My son is out riding his bike with a friend in the neighborhood. That is a common thing for a parent to say in the summer. But not this parent about this son. Until last year, he couldn't ride a bike. So when the boys in the neighborhood were riding, all he could do was watch, and wish. Then I found out about this wonderful program. And in a week, he was riding! Once home, I encouraged the riding, first riding with him, then using it as an alternative to playing on the computer. Every time, he wanted to know how many laps, and I would give him a number. And today, he was out riding for fun with a friend. I can't explain how wonderful it feels to make that comment that so many take for granted! Thank you to the staff of iCan Shine for teaching my son to ride his bike, and to like it! I have recommended your program to two others, and both had the same great experience at two different sites. This program works!"
"My daughter Samantha is 11 years old. She has developmental disabilities that make riding a bike and learning to ride a bike challenging to say the least. My husband and I were doubtful that this program would work (before we knew the details). Boy were we wrong! What am amazing group of people surrounded be exceptional, hard working staff, volunteers and riders. The support for both the riders and the parents was out of this world. On day 3, Samantha was on two wheels with help. On day 5, she was riding her own bike without any assistance. Truly amazing. On so many levels. Thank you doesn't cover it. We are so happy to have been a part of something so inspiring."
"Dear I Can Shine Team,
I would like to thank all of you for your great work. My younger brother Keshav is a 27 yr. old active young man who has tried on and off for years to ride a 2 wheel bike. Myself and most of the family had put the idea of him riding on 2 wheels out of our minds and with his age thought it might be past him. At a recent national down syndrome conference in DC, another parent shared with us that your program was coming to the area and we should look into it. My mother, the pillar of our family who always believes its never too late, did not hesitate to sign Keshav up for the session. We all had our reservations that it more than likely would not work and that the program was an hour away, he may get discouraged.....etc,
Well....after the dedication of my brother to do his best and try it out, and the dedication of my family, the volunteers, and the I Can Shine staff.....HE IS RIDING!!!! The morning of the last day of the program, my brother and I went on a frantic search for a bike to purchase, with both of us hoping we were not wasting our money. He had not tried to ride a regular bike up till that point and after warming up on the training bike, the time had come to try his new 2 wheel bike.
To this moment I am still amazed at what happened next and what I have seen in the weeks since. Keshav is riding daily and is getting more and more confident about his riding ability. We started on a flat blacktop and now have progressed to riding around parking lots. This truly has been a blessing and a very big progression for my brother as it will raise his level of independence and help him stay healthy. We wish we would have heard about this program years ago, but are thankful and fortunate that he is riding now.
Finally, the volunteers who were mostly high school students are the heart and soul of the program. The motivation and friendship they provided is the energy source that make the program go. I hope that this program can touch thousands of more lives and thank all involved from all of us in the Gupta family."
"Last year my son Aaron completed the bike camp but throughout the year he still couldn't get it under control. So my mom handed me the flyer and said put him back in it again. I was skeptical at first but did as my mom said. Boy was I amazed at how much he still needed the program. By day 3 he was on his own bike. By day 4 he was outside riding by himself and nobody following him, just spotting him from afar. Once he finally figured out how to start off by himself their was no stopping him. I am grateful for the program and hope that any other family that feels a second go around might not be worth it to defiantly give it a try! The program is wonderful and so is the staff. What else can you ask for except knowing that your child will succeed!"
"My daughter Anna participated in an iCan Shine Bike camp in Evansville, Indiana last week. It was the most tremendous, wonderful experience ever! I wanted to thank you so much for making this opportunity available to her. Because of your years of extensive work and research on bicycle dynamics, and your vision, initiative and passion to develop the iCan Shine Bike Camps, you have made an incredible difference in the lives of young people and their families. You have given a gift of invaluable worth to these children with special needs. Through the bike camp, they have been able to accomplish a most liberating and wonderful feat...to ride a bike. I’m sure that through the years with the iCan Bike program, you have heard countless parents and kids express their gratitude. However, I don’t know if you can truly understand the “magnitude” of what you’ve given.
As a parent, it is heart wrenching to see your child, constantly on the “outside of the norm” doing “atypical behaviors” and often seeming “not to fit”. You are desperate to somehow “fix it” and make it all better. With Anna, our journey to “fix it” began about 5 years ago when she was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Her diagnosis was devastating to us. It was also so surprising. Her development up until she was about 2 ½ seemed completely normally. We have videos of her at a young age, totally focused and engaged, at times singing songs, responding to request, laughing, mimicking, etc. It was after she turned two, that I started noticing a difference in her and the other children in the church nursery. A few months later, she started “umming” and flapping her hands. More and more characteristics of autism followed. For some time, it seemed as though she was completely in another world. We would have to say her name repeatedly to get her attention. We wondered, “What had happened to our precious little girl?” “Where had she gone?”
Anna has been in multiple therapies since that time. We’ve tried the gluten free diet, ABA therapy, floor time therapy, horse therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, sound therapy, and more. She has made progress through the years. Her focus and ability to follow directions has definitely improved. She no longer has melt downs in crowds or in unfamiliar places. She makes her requests known to us with simple phrases and sentences, makes choices, and connects with us on a very real way. Anna is a very affectionate, easy going child now. She is usually very happy and loved by all who meet her. She is cute, funny, and adorable. She is a definitely a gift from God, just as she is. However, we want her whole and “free”. We want her to experience all the joys in this life and develop to her fullest potential. We continually pray for God’s wisdom on this journey, and our truly blessed as he leads us.
A few months ago, my husband saw a publication about the iCan Shine Bike camp and enrolled Anna. We couldn’t have imagined at that time what a liberating and therapeutic experience it would be for all of us. To see her intense focus and effort and her face “beam with pride”, was such a joy. On the tandem bike she smiled and moved her legs in motion; it was like her spirit was “flying”. I agree with you, riding a bike is a “spiritual experience”. After each day’s session Anna seemed so much more alert and “present”. She watched the video clips we posted on Facebook and looked at the newspaper clipping with her photo on the front page (see link above). Our friends and family would complement her on her participation and effort on “riding a bike” all week. She didn’t say much, but you could see it in her eyes. She was proud and she was happy.
Anna had had very little experience with tricycles and bicycles. We, along with her occupational therapist at school and at the rehab center have tried for years to get her to ride. She would pedal a few times and then have to be encouraged and prodded continually just to move the vehicle a few feet. She didn’t seem particularly interested in going anywhere and would lose focus in the painstaking process. Maybe she wanted her body to move the bike, it just wouldn’t cooperate.
However, last week, even on the first day, we saw a different Anna. She moved the adaptive bike around and around the gymnasium smiling and rocking to the music as she went. There was some difficulty with keeping her feet on the pedals, at first. But after trying sticky tape on the pedals, an ankle weight on her left leg, and lots of encouragement from her coaches, she was able to keep her feet on. By the third day, she rode the entire 75 minutes without a break. When it was time to go, we walked toward the exit. She became upset and said, “Purple... want purple..” We didn’t know exactly what she wanted, so my husband and I followed her across the large gymnasium. I thought she was going to the vending machine and was wanting a snack. She led us right back to the bikes. She grabbed a hold of the purple bike and tried to get on herself. She was very upset, when we told her that her time was up for the day and she couldn’t ride any longer. It was the same for the next two days! She loved it and rode the entire time!
Once again, thank you for all you do to make such an impact on the lives of children. God Bless You!"
"This camp was the best! I have two special needs children and me and my husband have tried for years to teach our kids to ride a bike. It never happened. My friend told me about this camp. I signed both my kids up. The camp was awesome. So patient and wonderful staff. It was a success! Never thought it would be possible. Now we can ride around a lake in town as a family. I feel truly blessed! It was such an accomplishment for both my children and our family."
"I’m a member of the Western NY committee for the iCan Bike camp. I joined the committee after my daughter completed the camp in 2010. I knew that we needed to make sure that this program was around to help other kids the way it helped my daughter Brooke. I want to tell you about the ways in which the iCan Bike program changed my daughter’s life:
Brooke was born 3 months premature, weighing just 1 lb. 8 oz. She has had fine and gross motor delays her entire life. When she was almost 13 years old, she couldn’t ride and was very embarrassed to practice in front of the neighbors. She was desperate to learn, and we didn’t know what to do. We asked her physical and occupational therapists at school, and they didn’t know how to help her either. A few months later, Brooke’s occupational therapist sent home a flyer about the bike program. We signed Brooke up immediately.
The program was a complete success for Brooke. At the end of camp week, she was shaky but riding independently. A week after that she had mastered starting and stopping by herself. She was able to ride a bicycle, just as we had hoped. What we weren’t prepared for were the emotional and attitudinal changes that the camp brought on in Brooke. As the camp week progressed, Brooke became more emotional each day. On the last day, she wept openly. When we finally got her to tell us what was wrong, she told us that she hadn’t believed that she could ever learn how to ride a bike.
Our camp was held in June of 2010, but Brooke’s story certainly doesn’t end there… When Brooke returned to school in September her occupational therapist told her that she was going to work on a new skill. Brooke’s response was, ‘I learned how to ride a bike. I can do ANYTHING!’ That attitude stuck with her, and she still has it today.
Since completing the iCan Bike program Brooke’s confidence has soared. She has been consistently on the Honor Roll, and is now on track to earn a NY State Regents diploma when she graduates from High School. Her teachers told me that Brooke has made strides in the past 4 years that they never expected. And we believe that it all started with the iCan Bike program.
In June 2011, our family joined thousands of riders in the ‘Ride for Roswell,’ a fundraising event for Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo New York. One of our friend’s daughters receives treatment there, and Brooke told me that she wanted to take what she learned and use it to help other kids. My family raised almost $1,000 for this cause the first year. We have participated in the Ride for three years now as biking is now a favorite family activity for us.
Thank you iCan Shine. Your program has changed my daughter’s life in ways I never dreamed possible.”
"I wanted to write to thank you and your team for all of your hard work and dedication during last summer’s iCan Bike camp here in Orlando. You taught Ben how to ride a bike - and in one week even - but you gave him much more than the ability to peddle and stay up on a two-wheeler. You gave him the chance to understand what he is capable of. You gave him the freedom to dream, and not be held back by his fears and worries.
Ben not only has autism, and the low muscle tone and coordination issues that come with that condition, but he also has an extreme sensitivity to certain sounds. Sounds like clapping, cheering, and yelling put him into a “fight or flight” response almost immediately, and so he spends his life watching and waiting for those sounds to pop up. It is a life filled with anxiety and worry, and so he often can’t go places or do things where there is even a small group of people because he is so afraid of what sounds might happen.
The first day of bike camp was fun and exciting for Ben, but also very anxiety producing. He was so worried that camp would start with cheering or yelling, and I had to really work to keep him in the big open riding space. Luckily for us, the session started in a very low-key way, and he was up on his roller bike quickly. He rode by me, smiling and looking so proud, and I could see the excitement in his face as he did something that, just the day before, he could not do.
He did not mind the occasional cheering or yelling at all - I don’t think he even noticed it! He was too busy having fun and being challenged to ride faster and peddle harder. At the end of that first session, he hated to leave (a complete change from the kid that did not want to even stay in the room that morning!), and he spent the rest of the week eager to get to bike camp and keep riding.
On the third day when the iCan Bike staff had said kids might start to ride regular two-wheeled bikes, I knew that Ben would not be ready for that transition, and that was ok. He was learning and having fun, and I hoped that he would one day have the skill and strength to accomplish that goal. Well, I was wrong! I clearly did not have enough faith in iCan Bike or in Ben, because 15 minutes into that session, he rode by me on a regular two-wheeled bike! I started to cry almost instantly, as the enormity of what he was doing hit me. He was in a big room, with lots of people, and there was cheering and clapping, and he was not afraid and not running away at all! In fact, he was thriving! And now, he was actually riding a bicycle by himself! This program and Ben had accomplished something in 3 days that we had not been able to do for 5 years!
That day, after the session was over, Ben and I just walked around and talked about how excited we both were, and about how proud I was of him. I asked him how it felt to ride that bike, and I thought he would talk about going fast or feeling free. Instead, he looked at me, and said, “It made me feel like I could do anything.”
He has continued to ride since that week of camp. Our neighbors were completely amazed at how well he was riding, and how confident he was. Even they could see that the experience had changed him, and those changes reverberate to this day. When it comes to sounds and situations he continues to be a bit braver than before bike camp. He continues to do things even when they are scary. He has held on to that belief that he can do anything.
So thank you iCan Bike, for teaching Ben how to ride a bike. Thank you for giving him a chance to face some of his fears in such a supportive and caring environment. Most of all, thank you for letting him accomplish what seemed impossible. We look at the pictures from that week of bike camp often. They are such a great reminder of that amazing, life-changing week.
Later today, we will go out after school and ride bikes together. We will talk about things, or just be quiet together and feel the wind in our faces. And both he and I will be reminded -again- that we really can do anything. We just have to show up and keep peddling.
Thanks again so much!"
“I want to thank you so much for the wonderful experience Kira had at camp last week. I truly cannot believe she is the same girl who cried and screamed enough to have the neighbors out when I attempted to teach her at home. She is now whizzing around the church parking lot every morning before my husband leaves for work. This has done wonders for her confidence; she feels a little less different from her friends. The volunteers who worked with Kira were so incredibly upbeat and supportive. She couldn’t have asked for better cheerleaders. I was impressed with how responsible and mature they were. Thank you again”
“Thank you Thank you!!! Kayla is doing awesome!! We can not believe she is on two wheels and getting better everyday! Please keep doing what you do so more children (and parents) can experience the joy that we have. And what a staff!! And the best volunteers any parent could ask for.”
“I’m still overflowing with joy… It was so exciting to see her take off – and then to listen to her talking as she rode ‘this is my life’s dream. I never imagined that I could do this.’ PURE JOY!!!”
“Thank you for the camp. He can finally ride a bike by himself. And he loves it!!!!”
“Lauren was one of the many success stories who learned how to ride a bike at camp this past August. She is riding almost every day, weather permitting, and we have taken many day trips to Ocean City, NJ to ride on the Boardwalk, and she is navigating it like a pro! We are so proud of her, but she is even prouder of herself!”
“I wanted to let you know that I have never met so many people with that much generosity and kindness in one room! I’m so fortunate to have met all of you and every time I think of the bike camp or talk about it I always have a smile on my face. Thank you for all your dedication and effort in motivating all 3 boys, especially Aneesh! I really can’t believe how much progress he made in one week!”
“Jack is just beaming! I want to thank you all so much! We have never seen him so excited or motivated to do something physical, and the great feedback and quick success has really bolstered his self-confidence. He told me he never thought he could do it but it felt so natural when he was on the bike. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jack is hoping he can maybe volunteer for your bike camp at some point. Thanks again for everything, we are still riding high from the whole experience and singing your praises to anyone who will listen!”
“You are angels. What you have done for our son is remarkable.”
“I can see the great feeling of accomplishment in Dan’s facial expression. You have given him a greater gift than just riding a bicycle. He is more confident than he was. He stands taller today because of what he learned in five days. Thank you. A proud mom.”
“I am so grateful for what you have given our family, which is the freedom for more family activities through riding bikes.”
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My son rode a two-wheeler for the first time and it brought me to tears.”
“Billy is now riding his bike with his siblings and neighborhood friends on a daily basis and even participated in our town’s 4th of July Bike Parade! I can’t begin to tell you what this achievement has meant to his self esteem… what it has meant to our entire family. Thank you for everything!”
“Katie is up and riding daily. Mom had to resort to rollerblades to keep up with her. Thanks again for opening up a whole new realm of possibilities for her.”
“My husband and mother were so amazed when we came home to see Joshua riding a bike all on his own. Thank you for this gift.”
“Thank you for the most amazing gift our family has ever received. The gift of biking is one – but it’s the gift of overcoming a big challenge that seems to have transformed our beautiful girl.”
“My son has balance issues and was told he would never be able to ride a bike. Thanks to your camp, he was riding independently in just 3 days. This was a miracle! Thank You.”
“Kayla is like a different kid since she mastered bike riding. This was life changing for her and I can’t thank you enough. I’m so happy we found you, and I will let my friends and her school know about your camp. Thank you so very much for your great program.”
“Thank you so very much for your time and generosity. So many families benefit from your commitment. We truly appreciate everything you have done and will for years to come!”
“My daughter is 8, she was terrified of her bike because of a fall. I tried everything to get her to go on her bike, she would not entertain anything I would try to bribe her with! Then, she went into the program “iCan Bike”. Life changed!!! Imagine my surprise when on day one – she was riding circles around the gym and then … it happened. On day 3, my daughter was riding a bike! A two-wheeler, alone. A bike!!
She is no longer a sad little 8 year old running behind all of her friends while they ride their bikes. She is riding her bike!! She is more confident as a general rule. Her personality has completely changed. Even if it were just her, and I know that it is not .. you have made a difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Hugs.”
“Thank you very much for all of your hard work for the bike camp. We are amazed at what a wonderful program it is. We never dreamed Julia would be able to ride a two-wheeler. She could not have done it without all of your hard work. We greatly appreciate all you have done!”
“In June, Erin took the bike program and learned to ride a bike. This weeklong intensive course allowed her to go from being a little afraid to try to being an enthusiastic rider. In October, we went to Ocean City with her friends Lauren and Stephanie, where they successfully navigated up and down the crowded boardwalk.”
“Our son, Adam participated in the bike camp in Buffalo, NY program at age 8. The volunteers were wonderful as they patiently encouraged daily progress. Adam began riding with less support and smaller training wheels each day. He progressed to a tandem bike with the instructor and then on his last day he was riding a bike all on his own. His confidence increased so much in one week and his smile says it all when he rides his bike. Thanks for an incredible program and volunteers.”
“I can’t imagine the hours of time you’ve spent to make this week such a success. It is amazing how much pride and joy we have all felt this week. Cole LOVED this experience. Thank you for giving him this opportunity. We appreciate your kindness!”
“I just wanted to say thank you again for putting together such a great opportunity for all of our kids! I am so glad Danny had a chance to experience this camp and he has progressed so much from day 1. He truly enjoyed it and looked forward to it each day. This really means a lot to me to see him so excited about something new and something we thought he would not be able to do!”
“Words cannot express how grateful and appreciative we are for the iCan Bike program. Right before my eyes my son became a proud independent child full of smiles and sheer joy. His attitude before this camp was embarrassment and actually wanted us to sell his bike since he could not ride it without training wheels. Your staff is understanding, patient, welcoming of all children, always smiling and so positive. The transitions, from the roller bike to tandem to two wheels, every step of the way, was on my son’s individual level. He was pushed but at a pace that he could be successful at. PLEASE continue to have this program. Every child deserves this no matter what limitations or disability they have. Every child deserves to be a child and be happy, feel free and independent. Biking does this. Your program did this for my child and so many others.”
“To everyone involved with the iCan Shine bike camp – thank you! Despite our many attempts to help him learn on our own, our son Nicholas has resisted riding without training wheels for years. Thanks to your amazing program, awesome team and innovative training tools, he was ‘launched’ after only two days and is loving his new found ability! Since completing the program a week and a half ago, he’s had a boost in confidence and is having positive connections with kids in the neighborhood who he can ride with. And we’re thrilled to finally be able to enjoy family bike rides together! Thank you all so much for blessing us with this gift.”
“My soon to be 13 year old son has been attending the iCan Bike Camp in Alpharetta this week! As a former educator and as a rehabilitation counselor, I know how much having the ability to ride a bike can give someone with a disability access to his/her community, and how it can enhance family time, but I was totally unprepared for HOW PROUD MY SON IS OF HIMSELF!!! When I went to the ‘parent meeting’, they talked about how having success at riding a bike gives self-esteem boosts to our children. I have been trying to get Marty to ride a bike since he was 3…. We gave up at about 6. Last year, I missed the deadline, but this year, I made it in (they take 40 campers each summer)…. And you know what? I don’t think Marty would have been emotionally ready for this until this time! There are kids of all ages (and they have taught adults, too)… but “almost 13″ was the perfect timing for Marty.
The first day, he threw his helmet off after 30 minutes (mad, tired, etc.) but he got back on. Day 2 – he was chomping at the bit to get into the rink - and he worked hard the whole time…. They said, ‘He took everything he learned the first day, and applied it to what we wanted him to do today.’ Day 3 – he is riding a bike out in the parking lot! He is riding a regular bike FOR REAL!!!! Yesterday, they took them on a tandem bike with the campers in front (specially made bike) to see how they balanced, steered, leaned, etc…. He was screaming, “whoooooo-hoooo!” as he pedaled around the rink.
My kid is over the moon with pride & self-esteem! I’m so excited for him. We got him a big bike of his own, and he will be riding his bike tomorrow! If you have a child or adult who is struggling with getting this skill, consider this camp. They have had people as old as 26 at the Atlanta camp. Hope you all are having a great day!!!”
“My son Brady attended your bike camp. I think the program is wonderful. It’s great that kids can learn to ride a bike unassisted in such a short time. I’m glad Brady overcame his fear of riding a bike without training wheels. This was a great experience for him and a big accomplishment for him to achieve. I’m so proud of him and would recommend this camp to anyone.”
“My son Noah attended the Midland, MI camp last week. Noah is 13 years old and has NEVER been able to learn how to ride a bike. The week before camp we decided to let him pick out a new bike as an incentive to give it another try. After 2 days of trying and failing miserably he gave up….he spent both nights repeating that he was “too stupid” to learn how to ride a bike, it’s too hard for his brain to figure out and that he will never get it….
We saw that there was going to be the camp in Midland the next week (it is a 2 ½ hours drive each way for us) and with the help of family were able to sign him up. We were amazed! He gained so much confidence and did so well right from the start that even Noah was proud of himself…. By Friday he was riding his own bike without a spot bar or a spotter….
Thank you for your program – it has taught Noah that he can do ANYTHING and he is not too stupid!! The volunteers were all so patient and kind we could not have asked for anything more. Thanks again!”
“I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks for taking the initiative to have a camp like this. My son, Jackson participated in your camp. After years of my son taking occupational therapy no one was able to teach him to ride a bike. I was frustrated, disappointed and felt that maybe it might not happen for him. Then I saw the advertisement for your bike camp and I felt hope coming back that maybe this dream was possible for him too. He came the first day believing that he couldn’t do it, after all he had ridden with some of his peers and he was made fun of for having training wheels past the age where most of the other kids don’t. He had stopped riding a bike with training wheels. As the camp progressed each day he had more and more confidence and by the end of the week he truly enjoyed riding a bike. He was one of the first children up on his bike. He was on it by Wednesday. I was so proud of him and amazed at this accomplishment.
I would encourage other parents whose kids have a disability that they ought to try your camp. My child now rides alongside his brother and with the neighborhood children. I cried when he came home got on his bike and rode down the street to find his neighborhood friends. He has been smiling ever since and he now believes because of your camp that nothing is impossible and that he is capable of doing anything that his peers do.
I don’t think that any parent knows exactly how much their child’s life will change after camp is over. They are a totally different child filled with confidence and optimism and that means the world to me as a parent. You just can’t put a price tag on the effects of this camp on a child’s life. Thanks again for allowing my child with autism to enjoy what normal children enjoy every day. I truly appreciate it. Thanks!”
“I wanted to share my excitement over my son Ben learning to ride a two wheeled bike last week at the iCan Shine bike camp in Sun Prairie.
My son is 12 1/2 years old and has a diagnosis of autism. Although he has some coordination delays, they would normally not interfere with his ability to ride a two-wheeled bike. My son’s struggle has always been fear and a sharp memory when it comes to a fall he took a few years ago while we were attempting to progress him off of training wheels. Some things he never forgets.
We heard about this camp from his elementary Special Education teacher and thought it was worth a try. To our surprise and delight, Ben was riding independently on a bike on the 4th day. Despite some struggles on his part, the staff and volunteers kept supporting, encouraging and nudging him on. He has biked several times over the weekend and is even succeeding on the hills at our house.
My birthday was this past Saturday and I kept telling Ben, what I wanted more than anything for my birthday was for him to be riding a two-wheeler. I got my birthday wish. Now our whole family can take bike rides together.
Thanks to all the staff and volunteers for all their time and work. They were fantastic!! We greatly appreciate it!!”
“My son, Owen, had ridden a two-wheeler with training wheels when he was younger, but he outgrew the size bikes that could be fitted with training wheels before he had learned to ride without them. I couldn’t tell how interested he was in learning (I think that in the past, he thought it was a lot of work with little payoff, because he had not had a taste of what it is like to really ride), but I showed him the iCan Shine videos online and he saw how much fun the kids in the program were having. Given his interest in movement and things with wheels, I had a feeling he would like it once he could ride. I had wanted him to participate in iCan Shine for a few years, but the camps in our area always conflicted with his regular summer camp until this year. I knew this was our chance, but I didn’t really know what to expect. As the start date approached for the camp at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, he was very much looking forward to bike camp. And once he got on a bike, there was no looking back. He was on a two-wheeler on day 3 and thrilled to be riding outside! In retrospect, I think having to wait a few years due to scheduling conflicts was not a bad thing. He is now bigger and stronger, so the physical aspects of riding were not at all intimidating to him. He’s also become more coordinated with his gross motor skills thanks to some physical maturing and some PT. On top of that, he was really motivated to learn to ride a bike! Perfect timing, great program (including fabulous staff and volunteers), happy kid! Thanks to everyone at iCan Shine! P.S. I also was a volunteer spotter at iCan Shine and I think it’s important to mention that every kid’s experience is going to be different. While not every single kid will necessarily be riding independently by the end of the 5-day program, every kid in my son’s group made progress that their families can build on to help them become future bike riders.”
“I wanted to relay a story to you about my daughter, Mia, who did the iCan Bike program in Seattle in early August. She is 8 years old and going into 3rd grade and despite years of me trying to teach her how to bike, she never really ‘got it’. After 5 days at the program, she is now 99% there and really enjoys going out with me and riding her bike and practicing all the time. The follow-up story was yesterday. We have been working hard with Mia and the school on an inclusive environment and I must say over the last couple of years, Mia has become intertwined in the inclusive fabric of the local elementary school but every new year presents new classmates, new teachers, and new opportunities. Yesterday was her first day of school in the third grade. It just so happened that she had gym class on her first day. As they got to class, the gym teacher was asking what everyone did over the summer. Mia explained that she learned how to ride a bike. The teacher asked if she would demonstrate on a bike in the class. Mia walked right up in front of the class and jumped on the bike and rode it around the gym. As the gym teacher tells it, all the students in the class stood up and began clapping and cheering as Mia rode around the gym. As you can see, the program is much more then just riding a bike.”
“I want to give a HUGE Thank You to Kevin, Gary, Nina and Mr. Cabezas at the recent Holmes Middle School Camp! I have tried for about 4 years to get Mitchell riding a bike and you guys did it in 3 days!!! THANK YOU! YOU GUYS WERE AWESOME!!!!”
“My son Julian learned how to ride his bike with iCan Shine’s NYC sponsor last July. Last Sunday, he rode in the 5 Boro Bike Tour in NYC which is a 43 mile ride through the five boros of NYC. Thanks again for your wonderful program… Julian and I have not stopped riding since!”
“I can’t say enough positive things about these people! They have given hope to parents and children alike. Unbelievable results for our family. Thank you Kevin and Gary and all of our spotters! We have been blessed by iCan Shine!”
“My son is paralyzed from the knees down. We tried and tried to get him riding on a bike. He couldn’t ride with training wheels very successfully at age 8. In 2011, Lose the Training Wheels (now iCan Shine) came to our area. They instructed us as to what type of bike and what modifications on it would likely bring success. At the end of the week, he had a good foundation and he has been riding ever since. Earlier this Spring, we bought him a larger bike, and we only had to put BMX pedals, everything else was a perfect fit. Exactly 2 years later, he rode in a benefit bike ride to raise money for Spina Bifida. He rode 5 miles, on a hilly rode in St. Francisville, LA. As he rode off from the starting line, tears rolled down my face. Thank you Heidi and crew for giving my boy (and my family) the opportunity to have this experience. We are so fortunate that you came to our area!”
“Today was Noah’s first day of camp and he was feeling really nervous, but he did great and his spotters were awesome and cheered him all the way. Tonight, during our mealtime prayers he said that he was thankful he got to go to bike camp. We can’t wait for tomorrow!”
“Love this camp. We did it a few years ago and it made such difference in my son’s life. He loves to ride his bike. It gives him a sense of independence. Thank You.”
“My son actually said he had fun at the end of the first day of bike camp! You can’t even imagine how happy that made me. He has been dreading bike camp ever since I told him that he was able to attend!”
“Three years ago our almost 16 year old son couldn’t/wouldn’t ride a bike. Then everything changed when he took the iCan Bike camp. Now, at nearly 19, trail biking is one of his favorite pastimes and forms of exercise. Next week he rides five miles in a fundraising event in Denver! All are wonderful things we had doubted could or would ever happen. So don’t doubt, do it and see where it leads! ~ Shine On!”
“I would like to thank Gaby, Chris, John and Dee the staff at the iCan Bike program in New Lenox, IL. My son Tre who is 16 and has had difficulty learning how to ride a bike for 10 years now can ride independently. He did it in 4 days instead of 5 thanks to the staff. This was one of my son’s happiest moments in his young life. He feels so independent and confident now!!!! Thank you so much!!! A happy overwhelmed parent!!”
“Thank you, iCan Shine, for everything you do. Thank you for coming to Orlando, the bike camp was amazing, and I now have an independent bike rider. Ava is so proud of herself! Thank you!!!”
“Thank you so much for your Charlotte iCan Bike Camp, June 2013, my daughter Gaby is riding like a pro. Without your help this would never have happened. You and the volunteers worked so hard with each of the children and they mastered it. Your program is truly the most amazing program I have ever seen, and honestly I did not think within 5 days my daughter would be riding a bicycle on her own. I’m a true believer. Thank you for all your help.”
“Instead of our morning walk to the trails, Matthew actually rode his bike and even attempted some inclines. It was awesome to see him do it. To think only a week ago he couldn’t do it. Love your bike camp and it’s success. Thank you so much for having it.”
“My 8 year old son Elijah learned to ride this summer at Boone Grove High School. He absolutely LOVED bike camp and is now a completely independent rider! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those worked and volunteered to make iCan Shine Bike Camp a huge success for my son! Kyle and Elizabeth were amazing!”
“Ariel, 9 years old, was able to ride a bike with support wheels, but we were afraid to let her try to ride a regular bike. After five days in bike camp Ariel is showing us that YES I CAN!!. The volunteers and staff deserve a halo… just unbelievable. The kindness and support are from the heart with empowerment.”
“I just wanted to say thank you so much iCan Shine in Camarillo, CA. My son Cameron is 20 years old and has owned a bike for many years. We’ve tried for years to teach him. He felt so confident at camp and on the last day was almost riding independently. By Saturday he was riding on his own! He can even make turns and stop no problem! It has made such a huge difference to him! His goal this summer is to be able to ride on the beach, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
“Landon had so much fun at iCan Shine Bike Camp last week! As we were getting in the car to leave he says to me ‘Mom, I’m going to miss Donovan and Pete. I’m going to miss bike camp.’”
“The joy seen on these faces today, especially riding the tandem bike, is priceless. Thank you iCan Shine.”
“Thanks to iCan Shine my son can now ride a bike independently…. today is graduation day and I’ll be attending as one proud papa!”
“We have a bike rider! What a wonderful experience! Thank you for all that you do!! We have one happy 8 year old little girl.”
“We have one proud boy today. This week showed me this program is so, so much more than just riding a bike. It’s a chance to just be a regular kid. I’ve never seen Morgan smile when riding a bike – when we started this week, he wasn’t even able to ride a bike WITH training wheels. He hasn’t stopped smiling all week and even said today how proud he was of himself. I will never be able to thank everyone involved for giving him that.”
“iCan Bike Reno Camp Day 5!!! We made it!! What a fabulous week this has been with so many successful stories, big smiles and hugs and proud parents and family! This has been a life-changing event in my life as both a parent of a camper and as a volunteer for Ben, my camper. The pride, self-confidence and independence showing on the campers faces is something I will always remember! Our thanks again to the Downs Syndrome NNN, Diana Beeghly Rovetti and family and all of the sponsors and volunteers of this camp. And a HUGE thank you to both Jillian and Zech for coming to Reno to teach us how to bike! A GREAT week for people in the state of Nevada with disabilities who were able to attend the first iCan Bike camp in the entire state! Nevada needs more bike camps!!”
“My son attended camp last week in Mississauga ON. Wow what an amazing week he had! Countless attempts to do this at home were not successful. After a few days at bike camp, and he is a totally different kid. So confident and independent now that he can ride a bike! Thank you for this amazing experience and for helping him achieve this life-changing skill!”
“There are no words to express the feeling I had today as I watched my son ride a two wheel bike independently. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
“Thank you for all you do! Kevin didn’t make it outside after his week in West Bloomfield, MI, but he made amazing progress. Before camp, I had to negotiate riding his bicycle, but he loved going every morning and was so excited to be part of ‘bicycle school’ (as he called it). Saturday, when we got back home, he went under water for the first time ever without us ‘negotiating.’ Now he jumps in and is my little Nemo all because of the courage and self-esteem he got from that week at bike camp. Today he rode without anybody running beside him! This has been the best summer and I can’t say thank you enough for all your staff and volunteers do!!!”
“My 13 year old son attended the iCan Bike camp two weeks ago in West Bloomfield, MI. Today we took our first bike ride together! It was a wonderful feeling! Thank you iCan Shine and the Friendship Circle for this program. I know he would not have learned to ride a bike without this program!”
“New bike to match the new skills! Daddy (in Afghanistan) finally saw all the photos and videos and was very emotional that he couldn’t be there but so very proud! Thanks again everyone and for Huntington Cycle & Sport for the sweet new ride! Gunner is having a blast!”
“I cannot thank iCan Shine enough. We were told by doctors our daughter would never be able to ride. You are all amazing people, both staff and volunteers! Carrie, Gabey and Cory thank you for everything!! We love iCan Shine!!!!”
“Never say never! Thank you to everyone that helped out this week in Barrie ON Canada! My son is now riding a bike after years of us trying. You all are truly making a difference in children’s lives! Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“Sometimes you have the privilege of seeing angels in human form. THANK YOU to everyone at iCan Shine for a wonderful week of bike camp at UT-Arlington!”
“What you do is priceless!”
“The doctor said this would never be possible. Bradley finally did it!!”
“Kyle has been on his bike everyday since the bike camp. This camp truly changed the course of his life. Thank you to everyone that is involved with this program!!”
“Wow, what a great week it’s been in Love’s Park, IL! Tempest has been so excited, and her progress amazes me! Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of the wonderful volunteers and staff who have truly made a difference in our lives. Keep up the great work!”
“Omar (11) went on a bike ride tonight to get out a little of his anxiety about starting 6th grade tomorrow. He is such a joy to watch. What a blessing it was to see him ride all on his own and enjoy it so much. He whispered in my ear tonight, ‘thank you mommy for taking me to iCan Bike camp’. What an amazing program!”
“Thank you so much, iCan Bike and San Diego volunteers! So inspirational to see the kids progress so quickly! Proof of just how effective your method is. I’ll be working out so I’ll be ready to volunteer in the future.”
“Team Spokane rocks! Yay for no more training wheels! Trystan rode outside on two wheels today, on his very own bike! Definitely one of the most exciting things I have seen my son accomplish! I couldn’t be more amazed with his progress, he learned to ride a bike in only a few short days. It took a lot of effort, practice, great attitude, and amazing teamwork. A big thanks to all involved for making a dream come true. Riding a bicycle is truly a fulfilling experience and I will be forever grateful my son had this opportunity to learn.”
“In July 2011, my son Alisdair attended a bike camp in Victoria, BC. We travelled over a thousand miles to attend this event and, at the time I was booking our plane tickets, I wondered if it would be ‘worth it.’ When Alisdair was successful (and I was sitting on the sidelines watching him pedal solo) the tears flowed and I knew it would have been worth a million dollars to see that success. Fast forward to August 2013 and, thanks to iCan Shine, Alisdair and I were able to cycle 6 miles on the Isle of Man — along the road from Ramsey to Jurby. Our investment continues to pay off in leaps and bounds! I’m so very grateful to your organization. I’m planning to write a longer testimonial as I want to spread the word about the good work you are doing across North America with your summer camps! May God bless each of your workers and volunteers….”
“Way to go iCan Shine Camp staff, organizers, and volunteers in Roanoke, Virginia. Thanks to all of you my daughter is riding a bike. A dream come true for our family. You are all AWESOME!!!”
“I would just like to say that I couldn’t thank you guys enough for helping Jacob my son learn how to ride a bike. You guys are my hero!”
“Our family has just returned from a rail trail tour of some of Pennsylvania’s finest rail trails. How amazing an experience it was to be able to bike with our 12 year old daughter under her own steam. She went through iCan Shine’s program back in April. She clocked up to 22 miles each day on the trail. What happiness for our whole family.”
“I was a first-time parent/host this year, bringing iCan Shine to Spokane, WA for my daughter as well as the 34 other kids in our community we were able to help. What an amazing experience!! I’m getting a trailer hitch and a 3-bike rack for my car, because we are a family on the move now!!”
“My son’s name is Harrison. He attended iCan Bike Barrie, Ontario Canada this summer. Harrison’s volunteers were awesome! It’s amazing to see my child, who was literally terrified of being on a bike doing so well now. He needs reminders to focus and not make such tight turns and when to brake but otherwise he seems to enjoy chasing his brother and having races. He has come so far. I tell everyone who will listen about this camp. I’m very proud of my son’s accomplishments. Thank you for sharing this wonderful program.”
“Thank you ICan Shine staff for all that you do! My son is on two wheels with support but with enough practice will take off. My two high school children had life changing experiences from volunteering……. they will never forget.”
“As a mom of a child with ASD thank you. My son learned to bike 3 weeks ago and everyone was awesome! It’s a great program and the volunteers really make it work.”
“My son, Ethan, can hear, but cannot speak. Last night he got out his communication board. First, he signed to me ‘cry’. I asked him if he was sad and he shook his head yes. I asked what about, and he pointed to a bike. I said, “Does it make you sad you’re not in the bike program anymore?” and he shook his head yes.
What an incredible program you have! We already have stuff ordered on Amazon.com! I got myself a bike to begin with and then we picked out his bike. Not only did we order the bikes, but we also bought a bike rack for the car, a basket for my handle bars and two bells for our bikes. It was well worth it. We can’t wait to get on the Greenway trail!
I cannot thank you enough for all you did for Ethan. He is 15 years old and after years of trying had given up on ever riding a bicycle. Now he’s got more self-esteem and he’s more apt to try new things that he normally would never want to do. I have wanted to get him in Special Olympics for the longest time, and for the first time he is interested and wants me to call.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are truly blessed by the changes we’ve seen in Ethan. He is a changed little man.”
"When I was younger, I really wanted to ride a two wheeler. However, my parents kept telling me I wasn't ready. I tried a few times but always fell. It was really frustrating. I felt left out because my younger brother and friends could ride a bike but I couldn't. I gave up on learning to ride and was convinced that I would never be able to do it.
Then last spring, my Mom came across the iCan Bike Camp online and asked me if I was interested. I immediately said yes! When I got to the camp for the first time, I was nervous. I was still not sure I would be able to ride a bike. But once I got the training bike, I felt confident. I had an amazing week at the camp! My volunteers, Dom and Trish were very supportive of me and always gave positive reinforcement.
By the end of the week, I could ride a two wheeler independently. I was so excited and so was my family. Now I enjoy riding on the bike path at the park near my house. I would recommend iCan Bike to anyone with a disability because it helped me to not only ride a bike but also believe in myself!"
“I can do anything”
“I feel so alive”
“I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky…”
“I feel sooo free…. and dizzy”
“I am a strong, beautiful, popular bike rider!!!”
“For the past eight years, my parents have been trying to get me to ride a bike. It had gotten to the point where I had given up and didn’t care to ride one anymore. But now that I can, I realize how much fun it is. Thank you for helping me out”
“It’s not the same anymore!”
“I’d like to thank you for helping me ride a bike. I didn’t think I could ride one before. Give the others my thanks.”
‘The Time I Learned How to Ride a Bike’
“One morning I got up feeling something I never felt. I felt confident. It was August, 2011. My mom and I got in her car and drove to Notre Dame College. I was going to learn to ride a… bike. A group called Lose the Training Wheels came to Cleveland. It was a 5-day camp to teach kids to ride a bike. My helper was Victoria and she had a red hat and shorts. The director names were Nikki and Matt. When I got on the bike I went slow and I was scared. I said to myself, “I can do this just take it easy”. The next day the Fox 8 news team came and interviewed me. They put a microphone on my shirt. I said, “I’m proud!”. So they video taped me on my bike but just then I bumped into another boy and he got mad at me. I said I was sorry and he forgave me.
Then next it was the last day. Everyone was sad to say goodbye. So it was the day I have been waiting for all my life. So I got on the bike and zoomed down the sidewalk. Everyone started to cheer me on. Then I stopped and rode back and then everyone clapped! I felt like crying because I was so happy! Then they had an award ceremony. They gave out trophies. They called my name. I came up to get it and it said, “LTTW Cleveland Seth Gelwasser” and I got a Mitchell’s gift card. Now I know how to ride a bike!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to Lose the Training Wheels. That was a perfect ending of a perfect day. I learned practice makes perfect!”
“I didn’t think I would ever be able to ride a bike and I told my parents that the whole trip from Florida to Virginia. Every time I tried to ride my bike without training wheels I would fall. It is really frustrating when all your friends and younger cousins can ride a two wheel bike and you can’t.
When we got to bike camp on Monday morning, everyone was very nice and wanted to help me learn how to ride a bike. I loved Ms. Lisa, Ms. Heidi and my volunteer. I was able to ride the first bike and it was really easy and fun and I wasn’t scared after a while. When I left camp the first day, I was really excited! I was really going to learn how to ride a two-wheel bike!
The second day was great too and I was starting to feel very confident. The third day was a lot harder but I still did it. The fourth day I got too tense and fell down but Ms. Heidi ran behind me for the rest of the day and I felt better when I left. The last day was the BEST day! I rode my two-wheel bike all over the gym, all by myself! It was the most amazing feeling! I was so proud of myself and so were my parents and sister and all the volunteers and instructors.
We drove all the way back to Florida the next day and I rode my bike all by myself for my whole family to watch. Everyone cheered and said great job. I try and ride my bike everyday for at least 20 minutes and sometimes my parents take me and my sister to a bike trail near our house. The last time we went, I rode for 5 miles straight, with only a couple of stops and I was ahead of my entire family the whole time!
I hope one day that I can compete in a bike race or triathalon. I’ve learned that you can do anything you want if you try hard enough and you believe in yourself.”
“This has been the important opportunity of my life!”
"I did it! I have mastered the two wheel bike! Check me out! Thank you Down Syndrome Foundation in Orlando and iCan Shine! My mom asked me what big treat should we do tonight to celebrate, ice cream, a movie… I said, let’s go biking as a family! Love, Charlie from Orlando."
“It was a great experience for me to work with you and made for a busy couple of weeks, which is good. Thank you. I hope I can be of support in the future. Thanks! “
“I have heard nothing but positive reports about the camp. We are very happy to help and hope to see you back next year.”
“I want to send my deepest gratitude to you and your staff for letting some of our team members come and join you guys last week for your bike camp. It was a pleasure to see my staff return with large smiles and stories to share about the days’ events. A memory I am sure will stay with them forever. Thanks again for letting us participate in your event!”
"I wanted to thank everyone involved in this program for all their effort and support throughout the five day camp. When I first met my rider, I thought he was too young to be able to ride a two wheeler. He had some rough days where he would shut his eyes on the bike and sleep while riding...or say that he couldn't or didn't want to ride ever again, but wow!... he came out strong on Friday. He was the last to make his way outside but he did it! Also, it was amazing to see how every time his rollers were changed, he would be unstable at first but then got the hang of it and could keep his balance. When I signed up as a volunteer for the camp, I wondered if it was worth getting up at 7 in the morning for 5 days over April break, but seeing these kids smile and watching them progress was definitely worth giving up some sleep and energy :)… Once again, this was a fantastic and unforgettable experience for both my brother (a rider) and I. Thank You!"
“I had the most wonderful time this past week. Incredibly, many riders who had no balance on Monday were riding alone on their own bikes in the roped off parking lot by Wednesday. At the end of the week, almost everyone was able to be out there. It was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.
All the other volunteers were about half my age and younger, which one would have to be to keep up physically, and they were not sure how to best utilize my arthritic, senior body. At first, they had me do sign-in which took about five minutes at each session. So I brought out my camera and spent my time photographing the activities every day while cheering on the riders. It was touching to follow their progress and see their smiles of accomplishment. I shed many tears of joy as these youngsters with special needs took one step closer to the mainstream.
So I owe a big debt of gratitude. I thank them sincerely for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful experience and am looking forward to doing it again next year. The riders faces are imprinted in my mind and the memory of their smiles will keep me warm all winter. I guarantee that if you volunteer in any capacity to help children, you will receive far more than you will ever give.”
“Just wanted to drop a line to thank you all for such a well-organized and rewarding event! I really enjoyed working with Lauren and just seeing all the kids do so well. The parents were also very appreciative of everyone’s hard work! Count me in next year!”
“We did have some awesome campers and almost everyone lost the training wheels!!!! Nick really enjoyed working with everyone and we look forward to hearing about next summer’s plans.”
“Thank you very much! It was an honor and a pleasure to work with you and the group, I had such a great experience! You have a great program and I hope you have continued success.”
“I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in putting together the wonderful camp last week... I will try to keep up with my boot camps this year so I’m in shape next year to volunteer again… it was a great and rewarding experience.”
“I found the experience to be personally rewarding and unexpectedly satisfying.”
“It was an honor to be part of such a special experience. I loved working with Aneesh and was astounded by the progress the kids made in such a short period of time. Thank you… I look forward to being involved in the years to come!”
“Tomorrow is my last day of iCan Bike camp as a volunteer. It’s the greatest thing I’ve done all summer . . . and I’ve done a lot of great things this summer. I’m working with a 14-year old boy with Asperger’s. He’s high functioning. He’s about to become a freshman in High School. And he loves stickers. Boy have we decorated his helmet with stickers!
My inclination is to ask you how I can work for y’all, but I realize the geography makes that impractical. Plus I love my job working with kids and teaching them magic tricks. Also, my other job with Apple, Inc. But my real point, and I do have one, is that you are an amazing organization. This isn’t a kudos, it’s a thank you.
Not only have you changed the life of a 14-year old boy with Asperger’s, but you’ve changed the life of a 40 year old guy with relatively few obstacles. Which, when you think about it, is REALLY impressive!”
“With this year being my first year as a volunteer at Bike Camp, I was excited for the opportunity to see the joy of learning how to ride a bike, in action. I volunteered for two sessions each day. For my first session, I was paired with Matt, a tall teenager decked out in Cardinal gear and a talkative personality. Matt was well-balanced and had previous experience on a tandem bike, so right off the bat we were jogging beside him and his steady pedaling. It was a blast, and definitely a good workout. As the roller that replaced the back wheel became more and more altered to closely mimic an actual tire, we worked on balance and posture during his turns. Matt was confident and when we mastered the turns on the bike by the third day, we were on to the two wheeler.
My favorite moments with Matt, the speedy rider, was when he would get a consistent pace and really be in the zone. At that point, which was very often, he would start to sing. He sang to himself, but at a volume that enabled the other riders in proximity to know he was quickly approaching. Matt belting some great tunes allowed me to really see his confidence on the bike flourish each day. He was self-assured in his pedaling, balanced on his turns, and moving at a steady-speed – what else was there to do besides sing? I would have joined him in song, to celebrate his progress, but I had to focus on keeping up with the speed racer.
By Thursday, instead of running beside Matt, there to steady him if needed, I was on the sidelines, cheering for Matt. My confidence soon matched his confidence and I no longer worried if he needed help or assistance. He had mastered the bike, as well as, what to do if he didn’t make each turn. I had the opportunity to talk with Matt’s Dad and share his excitement over Matt’s incredible skills on the new bike. Matt’s Dad told me about their tandem bike and the rides they enjoyed together. Matt mastering the two wheeler, his own bike, really provided new biking opportunities for the two of them. It was a joy to watch Matt and it was a joy to witness a proud father become even more proud of his bike-riding son.
My second session, was with Drew, the very quiet, but very strong, 15 year old that was very focused on getting right on his bike the second he was in arms reach. Because Drew struggled to keep his head up, I walked backwards, in front of his bike for most of the session for the first couple of days. I was constantly encouraging him to look up at me by keeping a big smile on my face, which was easy to do in Drew’s presence. By day 3, I didn’t have to walk backwards as much, because he was looking straight ahead with new confidence, all on his own.
The best moment on the first day was when Drew hit a cone at a turn and thought it was absolutely hilarious. It was the first time I saw his amazing smile, and because he was very quiet at camp, I was thrilled to see more of his awesome personality. Drew was the ultimate rider because when he got on the two-wheeler, every so often he would lose balance and tip over, causing myself to panic, but causing Drew to laugh. He found humor in his little falls and allowed us to see his infectious smile. Encouraging Drew to keep his strong legs in constant movement, kept us in constant movement. Every time he picked up speed, he smiled, I smiled, everyone smiled. His attitude and strong determination led him to get on the two-wheeler on Thursday and Friday, where I was able to see his amazing progress and pride in himself.
Bike Camp was an absolute joy to volunteer at for the week. As an avid volunteer with those with developmental disabilities, I loved interacting with all the riders and witnessing their progress in learning how to ride a bike. Bike riding is a rewarding experience because of the personal effort you put towards the act of biking. Riding a two-wheeled bike is something done on your own, as you, only, are in control of the pedals, brake and the handlebars.
Many times those with developmental disabilities don’t always get the chance to truly do something on their own. This camp allowed the riders to develop the skills to really do something on their own, have full control, and succeed at the enjoyable experience of riding a bike. It was a honor to be among the new riders, and see the personal accomplishments of their stronger confidence and self-assurance.”
“I’m so glad that Geneva and I got to be a part of the admirable I Can Bike program. It was a great opportunity in many ways. The structure of the program is amazing. In fact, I’ll be applying some of the learning principles to my future OTA practice, specifically the language. It really took into account the anxiety that words can harness. From the well thought out word choices to the discreet roller changes, this program will help any apprehensive participant succeed! Contact me next year!”
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for putting on this event and for allowing my children to volunteer. This was ‘hands down’ the most rewarding volunteer experience that either of them has ever had and they have volunteered at church, at Alzheimers’ units, at an orphanage, and at animal shelters, just to name a few. They came home every day with stories about their ‘kids’. Caty talked all evening about ‘Gabby and Chris’ (Shine Staff). My husband would walk up on our conversation and say ‘wait, is that another Kinetic Kids (Camp Host) story?’? He could not believe it either. They talked about the kids that they were assigned to as if they really had gotten to know them and about the triumphs and challenges of bike riding. I have never seen Colby and Caty as passionate about volunteering anywhere else.”
“My new friend Harrison is an independent rider after a week at ICan Bike camp! I think he taught me more than I could ever teach him! Your staff, Gabey and Cory, were awesome leaders! Their love for this program and for each of the campers shines through! This is one volunteer experience I will never forget!”