Here’s what our Hosts had to say when asked if our Staff met their expectations and to provide feedback about bike camp:
"This was our 2nd time hosting the camp in Conyers, GA. We have started something great and can't turn back now! It is such a rewarding and awesome feeling to be a part of a program that gives a new, life-long skill to individuals who may have thought they would never ride.Parents, riders, and definitely VOLUNTEERS make this program work! We appreciate the staff of iCan Shine for their patience and expertise in working with our special families.We are looking forward to many more camps in the future!"
"Yes, staff were awesome. They did a fantastic job of motivating our kids and getting them on and back on bikes, especially after falls. They went above and beyond for each student regardless of their level of ability. We were excited to see the speed of progression of all the students. One child in particular didn't even (according to his mom) want to sit on a bike in the bike shop and by the end of the week was riding totally independently!"
“The staff exceeded our expectations. They both had such dynamic and energetic personalities that they were able to work through any situation. Their interaction with the campers, parents, volunteers and our staff was always positive and productive. True professionals who care about what they do. We received great pre-camp support and guidance. All questions were answered in a concise manner that greatly assisted us in the operation of the camp.
This program was amazing. It brought smiles to faces of the campers and volunteers; and tears of joy and hope to parents. I had heard from other professionals how great this program was but I did not know what to expect. By the end of the day on Monday, I was in awe of this camp. The Milford Recreation Department will definitely bring this program back.”
"Yes, staff were fantastic. Very organized and had the riders best interest in mind. I received a lot of support from staff as well as information provided on the iCan Shine Host webpage. This made it easier to communicate with the riders families and volunteers."
"Yes, staff were amazing and very helpful."
"Staff were amazing during camp week! They were both great with all of the bikers! Bike camp was a wonderful experience, not only for the riders, but the parents and volunteers too. I'm looking forward to hosting another camp next year!"
“Above and beyond. We are extremely pleased with the amount of riders that were launched. The staff worked well together. We were impressed that your staff took the time to learn (and remember) the names of our Bike Buddies in addition to our riders’ names! They were true professionals in every way. The success of our first bike camp is attributed to the staff. Thank you. Excellent! Shine on!”
“Staff were very flexible about the use of our outside riding space. They did a great job answering parents bike questions. Thank you for doing a great job with all the riders and volunteers.”
“Staff were excellent! They were both fun and professional in all aspects. Great rapport with parents and kids. Once the kids got rolling, all of our campers enjoyed and showed pride in their achievement! What a great, heart warming experience for all of us involved. Looking forward to hosting again in 2015 : )”
“Absolutely – they did a wonderful job. Both were very friendly and helpful and did well with some challenges, great tips and very encouraging. Thank you, we hope to make this happen more often.”
“Absolutely. Always on time. Always prepared. Always focused. Always friendly yet professional towards children and families. It’s a great program. Very organized.”
“Yes! Exceeded. This felt like a very collaborative year and your staff were an amazing team. They quickly responded to our request to develop a social story, initiated contact with us and was receptive to input. They both demonstrated phenomenal compassion to families and genuinely cared about both riders and parents. We continue to appreciate our work with iCan Shine.”
“Yes, absolutely. Staff were both fantastic! Positive, encouraging, organized, timely and very responsive to any questions we had prior to camp. Second year was just as rewarding as year one! Happy campers, parents and volunteers!”
“Yes awesome camp staff as always! Staff was always very enthusiastic and motivating. Both staff were very knowledgeable and great with the riders and parents. Another awesome year!”
“Yes staff did a fantastic job of answering our questions and helping us problem solve so we could pull off this camp! This was awesome – staff connected well with the kids. They knew their stuff. We will be thrilled to have another iCan Shine camp.”
“Yes, exceeded expectations. Staff were great. They were very good with participants and volunteers. We were very impressed with the staff and their tireless efforts all week. They are extremely knowledgeable and tireless.”
“Absolutely! Staff were awesome. Overall awesome first camp experience!”
“Yes, the staff was great!! They put our staff at ease and ran a smooth camp. There were no problems they could not address from timid kids to excited parents. They appeared to be in control. The website Host section outlined in detail all the things a first time host and director needed to run the camp. Great organization! Very professional.”
“Absolutely! The staff totally met my expectations. Our camp ran very smoothly. We received support from all levels. We had everything we needed to get started. Great chemistry between the staff”
“Yes!!! Absolutely!! Exceeded!! Staff was kind, focused and respectful of all of us. LOVED the staff. We want this team again. They taught us so much!”
“Yes, staff were an amazing team. Flexible, helpful, encouraging, supportive and most of all did awesome with the riders. Very patient, kind and encouraging. All the handouts and templates were great also. Loved the website. Great program, great staff, amazing work you do. Keep up the great job.”
“Yes, staff were good with riders and parents and easy to work with. I appreciate all the sample letters on the website. We adapted the letters and flyers and it saved us a lot of time. This is a wonderful program.”
“Yes! Absolutely! We want the same staff next year please! : ) GREAT program - thank you!”
“Staff exceeded expectations!! We would love to have them back. They were both professional, calm and knowledgeable. We appreciated their hard work and dedication. We received many positive comments from our families regarding their interactions with staff. This is our 4th year running the program and each year has been a success. Great program and well organized.”
“Yes, we received all of the information we needed and staff were quick to respond whenever we had any questions. The orientation was great and we received a lot of positive feedback from parents on it. Staff were amazing at what they do and extremely helpful for the riders, volunteers and parents. They paid attention to each riders needs as well as stressed the importance of safety and being a role model. Everything we needed to make this a successful first camp was there. Staff was not only knowledgeable, but also personable. Both riders and parents felt comfortable with them. Awesome experience!“
“Yes staff super exceeded expectations. They were both outgoing, positive and willing to take time to answer questions. They were very gracious, polite and treated everyone equally. We would be honored to have both return in the future.”
“The support was excellent from our first contact to our last day with staff. We appreciate the online templates. I used all of them. Staff were wonderful with our bikers. They provided excellent service to us, our parents and our riders. We were confident in their abilities to lay the foundation for our riders. We could not be more pleased! Thank you for developing this program. We plan to offer this camp again next year!”
“Definitely! Appreciated staff flexibility to meet our needs for a p.m. session… lots of great ideas for parents and volunteers. They interact with riders in a great way – have fun but professional and can push as needed. It is so nice to have everything we need on the website.”
“Absolutely! Shine staff were both extremely supportive of our campers, families, volunteers and staff. They were also receptive to feedback and dialogue with staff was constructive as we worked together to achieve positive outcomes for the participants.”
“Absolutely! Staff actually exceeded my expectations. I felt like I could better fulfill my role supporting riders, volunteers and parents from a community recreation/camp director standpoint, because they were so good and competent in their roles! Plus, they were just easygoing and fun. Keep up the good work! This is a magical program. I appreciated everything the staff did to support the riders and keep THEIR best interests in mind as first priority.”
“Absolutely. Great Support. Staff was very hands on and accessible to parents and their questions… Overall, we were extremely pleased. Staff was superb in interacting with the campers, fantastic and had great communication. We love iCan Bike!”
"Hosting iCan Shine Philly was probably the best week of my life. I got to learn so many valuable communication skills, meet the sweetest kids in the world, make a difference in their lives, run until I could barely feel my legs, and have an amazing time doing so! It was a wonderful experience!"
"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."
“Over and above! All good!”
“Staff were wonderful. They were professional, efficient, on task and very friendly. Very organized!! The camp has been rewarding and extremely successful.”
“Yes, staff worked well together, with the families, the volunteers and our campers… couldn't have asked for more. They were great.”
“Staff exceeded our expectations. They went above and beyond to help the children, families, volunteers and us. They were extremely knowledgeable and open to suggestions. The camp was so successful because of the staff. Thank you so much for hand selecting the perfect team for our needs and us! Staff were very helpful and kept communication open. I felt comfortable contacting them with any of our needs. The team did make sure through e-mail that everything was ready and organized and willing to assist with any last minute preparation. Everything was perfect and ran extremely smoothly. We look forward to our next camp in 2015.”
“The staff were a phenomenal team. They worked well together, were professional, yet fun and personable. They communicated well with families, riders, volunteers and our staff. Frequent e-mail reminders (during the camp planning stages) were helpful in staying on track. We would love to have them in Topeka again. As usual, our camp was wonderful. Families, riders and volunteers were eager for each day of camp. The process/program works amazingly. We look forward to next year’s camp even before this year’s is complete. Keep up the great work.”
“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!”
“Yes, staff met all of my expectations. Great job! Always fun and nice working with you guys!”
“Yes, staff was AWESOME! Always texted/e-mailed, called promptly, wonderful enthusiasm, cheerful and professional presence at camp. Overall, we are extremely pleased.”
“Exceeded them. If I could have them again next year, I’d be VERY happy. Your staff ROCK!”
“Yes, the staff was fantastic and quick to respond. They were great. They were organized, hardworking and positive all week. Another great year, I look forward to next year.”
“Yes! This was our 9th camp and all went relatively smooth. Great to have experienced staff who were wonderful with floor direction this week. Thank you!”
“Yes! It was wonderful – they did a great job with the campers, were approachable with parents, campers and us. They are energetic, they don’t’ get stressed with challenges, and they both were very organized. Staff was very responsive to e-mails and pre-camp phone calls. Your staff did a stellar job and we love the product – kids fulfilling dreams through riding their bikes! Once again, we LOVE bike camp!”
“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.”
“The staff exceeded our expectations. We had a great experience last year but this year was even better. They did a great job interacting with our staff and families and we appreciate their patience. They listened to their concerns and made adjustments. They took charge of the situation but were open to comments. We look forward to working with them again.”
“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 worked well together (communication and process) yet it’s also a good thing that they are able to work independently. Both were experienced and did a great job of staying positive and high energy while relaying information to volunteers and families.”
“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!”
“Yes, they met and exceeded my expectations. They are both caring and compassionate individuals and it is clear they love what they do. Parents, volunteers and staff have only good things to say about this program and staff. We absolutely loved hosting them and definitely look forward to future bike camps.”
“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!!”
“100%! Staff had great energy and positive attitudes to encourage all riders. They made themselves available to parents to share information and answer questions. Thank you for your hard work! We look forward to this program every year!”
“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…”
“Staff were very helpful, enthusiastic and professional.”
“Absolutely! Staff were outstanding! The gentlemen were amazing to work with… Fabulous success.”
“Absolutely! The staff totally met my expectations. Our camp ran very smoothly. We received support from all levels. We had everything we needed to get started. Great chemistry between the staff”
“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!”
“Yes, loved the enthusiasm of the team and motivation for all riders parents and volunteers. It was a great week as always! Look forward to next year!”
“Yes very much so. We continue to be impressed with the staffs’ skills, knowledge and ability. They were great to work with. The website is great. I pulled documents remotely. Everything was excellent. I really like what we do and how.”
“Not only did staff meet expectations, they exceeded them. Both staff went above and beyond for our special kids and their families. They were always available to answer questions, assist with challenging children and ease parent’s minds. It was a fabulous week and we truly appreciate everything they did. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed working with your staff. They were absolutely wonderful. I appreciate their organized approach, their flexibility and their passion for what they do. They made this week fun and successful for the kids and easy for us : )…. FABULOUS JOB!”
“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!”
"My name is Alejandro Vizcaino and I want to thank you for the wonderful iCan Bike program. My daughter had the opportunity to attend last week and we had a great time. The staff and volunteers were all excellent. The program was hosted by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida. I love how structured it was. Each day they learned a new skill that made them feel confident and successful. My daughter was able to learn how to bike without the training wheels and she's feeling so proud and confident of herself. Thanks for creating this program and please keep offering this to many more kids. We felt overwhelmed with the love and patience of all people involved. I highly recommend this camp."
"My son just completed the program. After years of trying to teach our son to ride a bike we now have a happy boy who can ride by himself. He can now join his friends on bike rides at the campground. He is thrilled. The staff and volunteers were so wonderful and helpful and could answer any question you might have. Thanks for giving my son some independence he so badly wanted."
"Estoy completamente agradecida al programa de iCan Shine porque mi hijo ha podido lograr montar la bicicleta sin usar las rueditas. El Sistema del programa es increíble. Cada día es algo nuevo, nada rutinario. Empiezan por lo más simple y de acuerdo al progreso de cada niño incorporan diferentes clases de bicicletas. En realidad el programa esta diseñado para que cada niño tenga suceso en el aprendizaje. El coach dirige a los spotters. Comienzan con los niveles actuales del niño y luego que es en lo que hay que trabajar. Realmente tenia dudas que en cinco días mi hijo iba a poder manejar la bicicleta, pero lo hizo!!!! Gracias iCan Shine!!!"
"What a truly wonderful and amazing week! I can't say enough about the program, staff and volunteers. I will be forever grateful for everything they did for my son. They not only taught him how to ride a bike, but they gave him the opportunity to know what it feels like to accomplish something and succeed. It brought tears to my eyes to see my son so proud of himself and happy. Before the bike camp, I couldn't even get him on a bike to practice. The program's approach and the kindness, compassion and encouragement of the staff helped to change my son's confidence and motivation. We had such a positive and exciting experience that I am so thankful for."
"I was determined to teach our son Evan to ride a bike when he was a youngster. Every summer we made some strides but ended up defeated. With his cognitive delays, the challenge for us was to break every step into smaller steps for him to learn along with all the motivators like new bikes, helmets, horns, and snacks-you get the picture. He mastered some skills very slowly, but frankly the process got to be overwhelming for both Evan and us. Most children with special challenges have to work so hard to acquire and master new skills on many levels. I was beginning to feel a failure as a parent. I kept thinking "bike riding is supposed to be FUN!" We don't usually back down from most challenges, but we took a break....a long break.Then a few years back as a pre-teen he almost "got it" on his two wheeler but he grew to the point where I struggled to keep up to him and after several falls each outing, we quit. Being the strong-willed child that he is, over the next few summers, whenever I said "bike ride?" with all the enthusiasm I could muster, he gave a resounding "No!" But like many special needs parents, we persevere, move on to other things, and come back.I had heard about iCan Shine and applied a few times but too late for acceptance (special needs parents are not perfect either!). So this year we finally grabbed the opportunity to "do this!" Evan just turned 25 years old and completed the week-long bike camp today at Villanova. The entire experience was wonderful! The coordinators have expertise in the mechanics of biking that move the rider toward success at their own pace. They don't mind explaining to parents and answering many questions. The buddies/volunteers were great motivators and yes, Evan had his favorite girl buddies! They were so patient with him and worked through his stubborn streaks. His poor speech skills did not deter them. And yes, he jumped off the bike once - no big deal to them. The coordinator found that perfect blend of music to serve as a motivator and not a distractor. Positive reinforcement with ample verbal praise was continuous during the entire week. And yes, he did learn to ride with very few prompts by the week's end. I could see his confidence building and apprehension waning on our rides home from the sessions. And as always his smile says it all.Most of all in the case of a young adult like Evan, my goal in all areas is to increase independence. I recalled the years of my own childhood in rural PA riding bike all over the place and the joy and feeling of freedom it brings. I know our son won't drive a car but I feel his ability to ride a bike has given him that same sense of independence. The bike camp, staff, and their expertise provided the opportunity for our son that we could not have imagined. They took the "challenge" along side of us and that sense of teamwork toward a common goal was the support that our son needed to be successful. I love to hear him tell all his relatives what he can do "by myself" and now we can add bike riding! Increased independence builds confidence so I am certain that confidence building is right up their with his new bike riding skills. The bike camp staff were also a great encouragement to me to pull from the positives with Evan and keep on going!"
"My son, Roman, was a volunteer during this year's iCan Bike event. Although just shy of 15, he successfully assisted a few riders in learning how to ride. Every day he came home rejuvenated from his participation. He loved the interaction with the riders. Even through a meltdown or two, my son shared the stories of these courageous riders with compassion and hope. We congratulate the riders for taking this step and I am thankful as a mother for this outlet for my son. I know he enjoyed participating in the joy and accomplishment of the riders!"
"We are the proud parents of a beautiful 9 year old named Cole who happens to suffer from autism. Cole attended bike camp just last week through the Fox Valley Park District in Aurora, IL through Fox Valley Special Recreation Association. Prior to enrolling Cole to camp he wouldn't get within 10 feet of his bicycle. We were very hesitant to register him because we thought he would kick and scream the entire week and it would be a complete waste of time and money. How wrong were we? Day one he was nervous and didn't want to but he fought through it and pedaled a bike for over an hour - more than he had done his entire life. Day two he was hesitant but went without a struggle and continued to learn some amazing life lessons as well as riding a bike. Day three he was literally skipping into the Recreation Center and wanted to get out to his bike. Day four he rode about 10 feet on two wheels all by himself. Day five he said he didn't want to go home. What a transformation!However, towards the end of camp he had a meltdown because he didn't want to get on his actual bike. However, FVSRA staff and the iCan Shine staff helped him off the ledge and he rode his TWO WHEEL bike for about 30 feet by himself and I was in tears. The only expectations my wife and I had at the end of this camp was that he would consider looking at his bike and possibly ride around the block on his training wheels. Those expectations began to change on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We started to understand how amazing this program was, the confidence it was giving Cole on his bike and, just as important, it was a reminder to mom and dad how amazing our son is and how he can accomplish anything with hard work and a ton of support! Cole overcomes obstacles, as do all children with a disability, every day.The iCan Shine program and Fox Valley Special Recreation Association should be very proud of themselves and what they are doing for all the families that attended this program. It truly meant more than riding a bike to our family. It was a great reminder for us to focus on all the things Cole can do in lieu of all the things he may never be able to do. Today is riding a bike, tomorrow may be driving a car or living on his own! Keep up the great work!!!!!!"
"My son, Mark attended the iCan Bike camp on July 27-31 in IL and he learned how to ride a bike in 2 days! On the 3rd day he was riding a regular bike without help! It is a miracle! I still can't believe it! It won't happen without you! Larken and Cory were awesome! Everything was organized and planned! Mark's volunteers Malory and Crick were always beside my son! You need to see Mark's face when he was riding his bike on his own! It makes me very happy too! Thank YOU for all you do to make our kids happy! I would like to let you know that it is very appreciated!"
"We had all but given up hope that our daughter could learn to ride a bike. She became so embarrassed and frustrated with training wheels that we couldn't even get her on a bike for over a year. We found iCan Shine on the internet. We were cautiously optimistic. I wanted to be hopeful, but we tried for so many years to teach Hayley with no success. She too, had little faith and almost given up interest in learning as I think she thought it wasn't possible.I can't tell you how much joy, pride and confidence we saw in her after the first day. She couldn't wait to go back each day. And she was riding her own two wheel bike by Friday. Amy and Clayton were patient, positive, energetic, and truly amazing with our daughter and each child they worked with. The Shine staff, program and volunteers were exceptional. This program is priceless. We will always be grateful for these roller bikes and how they opened so many possibilities for our daughter and family as a whole. We watched all 6 children in our session progress individually, we are so privileged to have been part of this.Thank you for bringing this program to Milford, CT."
"Thank you!! Your program is wonderful! My son is 11-years old and has autism. He participated in your camp at Mt. St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH this summer. The Shine Staff of Kenan and Mark were simply the best! My son had never ridden a bike before and he can now ride up and down our street on his own 2-wheel bike without any assistance! The progress he has made is just amazing. The boost to his confidence is immeasurable. We are very thankful for your program."
"This was an amazing experience. One of the most organized, energetic programs we have ever done. My son, Brett is now riding a bike, no help and his family is bursting with pride. Every child deserves to feel the freedom of riding a bike on their own. Life changing....... period."
"Last week was an amazing week and I am so glad that Joshua was able to participate. When we initially signed up, I wasn't sure what the outcome would be. But Lucy...it was way better than I ever expected. The total experience was "first-class". Everyone was so kind and so very committed to the kids. It brought me great joy to be able to share in the experience with Joshua and James; and with the amazing staff and volunteers. It really had an impact on our whole family. iCan Shine is a wonderful program for providing such an experience for children and Takoma Park is a great city for hosting it. Again, thank you so much for making this wonderful milestone of learning to ride a bike, as amazing for Joshua at age 14 as it would have been at age 8."
"My son just finished the 2015 iCan Shine Bike Camp in Conyers, GA on July 10, 2015. It was just as rewarding to me as it was for my son. You should see the smile on his face. Although I was unable to make it to camp, my eldest was a volunteer and also our dear family friend, Esther was at camp each day providing me with details, pictures, videos, and other updates. This was very special for me. Now, we just have to keep my son riding and encouraging him that we know he can, we know he can, we know him can."
"Our grandson, Jakob graduated from iCan Bike this week. An 8 year old ASD participant, Jakob was provided the most supportive, loving and focused "pit crew". Volunteers, organizers and Jakob were determined to succeed. Many thanks to The Friendship Circle, West Bloomfield MI High School and iCan Shine for creating a program that allows Jakob to "be an offical rider", in his words. We couldn't have done it without you and his determined spirit. Thank you!"
"Last week my son, Jacob, went to the bike camp at Camden County College in Blackwood, NJ. It was such an amazing program! It was very well run and there were many wonderful volunteers that were great and very encouraging with all the kids. Jacob is almost 14 and we were not sure he would ever be able to ride a two wheeler. By Wednesday he was able to ride short distances on his own. By Friday he was riding independently while we stood and watched him go! That moment was just incredible! My family is so thankful for this program. It has opened up a whole new world for Jacob."
"My grandson, Rylan Morrison, just completed the iCan Shine bike camp that I believe Patty Balbach runs in Evansville, IN. I CANNOT express the joy and gratitude that our entire family and friends have experienced this weekend as we cheered Rylan while he rode around and around and around the local track! The tears were streaming.Rylan is the coolest kid ever and to see him so happy was PRICELESS!!! I never knew bike riding was so frightening for the observer! lol hit a concrete wall, the bleachers, and a trash barrel! After each wreck he got up and said "its ok mamaw" "just let me ride!". What a tough determined boy.Thank you for giving one of the loves of my life such an outstanding opportunity. He cant wait to start riding through French Lick with mamaw and papaw (in a day or two) haha Rylan had very much outgrown training wheels at 11 yrs old, we were completely out of options.THANK YOU FROM THIS MAMAW AND PAPAW! JOB WELL DONE!"
"Our son Matthew, who is 13 and has autism, participated in the Cleveland camp this past June. I admit to being skeptical about him being able to ride in just five days as we've tried multiple times to get him to ride without success. He wasn't too keen on trying again since he'd tried so many times in the past, but he's not one to give up, so he gave it his all every day of the camp. Within the first 15 minutes of the third day, Matthew was riding a two wheeler. By himself. He was so proud, as were we (yeah, I had tears - not too proud to say it!). Since the end of camp, we've been riding almost every day around our neighborhood and it's such an amazing feeling!Between the organization of the camp, the dedication and encouragement of the many volunteers and the technology of the roller bikes (which my engineer husband found fascinating and impressive BTW), this camp works. It really does work!"
"What a wonderful camp. My husband and I have twin boys 18 years old. One son is high functioning on the spectrum and can drive a car but never learned how to ride a bike. Our other son is very severe on the spectrum. They both learned how to ride a bike independently this past week at camp in Roanoke, VA. Such a huge accomplishment. We want to thank all the staff at iCan Shine Camp, all the volunteers and we also want to thank Lea, Ginny and Sarah Riddle for hosting the event."
"My son just finished a week at camp, and I was so impressed with the progress he made! The instructors were very good and C's spotters kept pushing him to do his best. He was on two wheels by Wednesday! The best thing is that he looked forward to going to camp. His confidence has risen so high. Thank you all for what you do!"
"Both of my kids participated in the program in New Lennox, IL earlier this month (Drew and Colin) and everything that your organization suggested has materialized. We already see spillover in other areas, particularly with motivation and follow-through. They both are super motivated to continue biking and gaining more independence. The team of professionals and volunteers coupled with having other kids focused on achieving the same goal was a winning combination."
"We cannot say enough good things about this camp. We had been trying to teach our 9 yr old to ride a 2 wheeler for several years to no avail. With the help of the iCan Bike staff our daughter significantly progressed each day. By day 4 of the camp she was riding alone. We could see her confidence grow by the day! I would highly recommend this camp to anyone that has a child struggling to learn how to ride a two wheeler bike. We are so thrilled we had our daughter attend the camp."
"The camp was great! Very motivational for the students. The staff did a wonderful job in coaching and encouraging. There were a variety of differing abilities that attended the camp. A majority with Tri-somy 21. They braved the week to attempt to learn riding solo. My daughter is not riding solo. She has opted out of tandem riding and loves her recumbent bike so much better.This camp was June of 2014. So if anyone needs a bike, it is up for sale. Bright cherry red 24". It was the balance and fear of falling that she opted out. She is almost 17 1/2 yrs of age and a prime 103 lbs. Love my girl and all that is within her. We are in Wisconsin near La Crosse."
"My son went through your program about 5 years ago in Rochester NY. He has motor and balance issues and was 14. Your program is what he needed. He rides his bike all over. In fact we are having to "push" him to get his drivers lic because he is more comfortable riding his bike! this would be fine but with our winters riding his bike to work is difficult!! Thank-you so much for this program!"
"Your program is exceptional! We were absolutely delighted when by day 5 our son was riding a two wheeler. The staff is excellent and so very patient. Thank you so much for all you do to bring this amazing program to Phoenix. You have given my son confidence and a bit of independence. We completed this program two years ago and we are forever grateful. Hugs to you all."
"My grandson Josh participated in the iCan Shine bike camp last year and I will be forever grateful to all the staff. My grandson has been riding his bike every opportunity he gets. He absolutely loves riding. He goes on public bike trails and joins right in with other riders. He even rides through the rock land tunnel up near Kennerdell, PA this summer and was thrilled. Thank you so much for the time you spend with these kids. This is an activity that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives."
"I still have tears in my eyes as I watch my son ride his bike with his older brother. We spent 6 years trying to ride without success....one week in camp and he is riding! Gaby and Vanessa (along with all of the volunteers and the Milford CT Rec Dept) you ROCK! Eternally grateful for such a wonderful program. Exceeded all of 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.”
Learning to ride a bike (again) after 51 years"I rode a bike throughout high school and left it behind when I left home to go on to further schooling a long distance away. Then I got married and had children and life was busy. In the back of my mind I still remember the enjoyment I experienced from riding a bike while growing up and always wished that I would be able to ride a bike again. For almost 30 years we lived on a gravel road, so bike riding there was not practical. When we were in Europe in 2008 I tried to ride my sister’s bike and it was a fearful experience. I could not make the transition from standing on the ground to getting my foot up on the pedal. I felt I needed to learn how to ride a bike again, but who wants to run beside an elderly woman holding on to the back of her bike while she learns to ride a bike? The opportunity to learn never seemed to present itself.Fast forward. On Saturday, May 30, 2015 there was an article in our paper the Ames Tribune (Iowa) about an iCan Bike Camp for people with disabilities to learn to ride bikes. Immediately I wondered if I would be able to join. There were only 13 registered campers at the time with a possibility of 40. The worst that could happen to me was they could refuse and say it was only for those with disabilities. I called first thing on Monday morning and was allowed to join the campers as number 14. I had to look past it that I was a 68 year old woman learning to ride next to young children. But I wanted to (re)learn so badly to ride a bike.The camp itself was such a good experience, the staff were friendly and so helpful and were right beside me the whole time, except of course on the last day. Plus the bikes were equipped with a roller for the back wheel and also a long handle so the staff could hold onto the bike as needed. As the days went by my confidence returned, I even learned how to get my foot up on the pedal and get going. The only thing I did not really enjoy was the tandem bike, the rider behind me was going too fast for me, it was actually scary. I would have preferred that we could have gone at my comfortable speed. Other than that I am so glad I was able to have this experience.I know that this event is for people with disabilities and I think that is such a great idea and to see the kids smile as they are riding around on their own because they have mastered riding a bike. However, as an older person, I am so thankful I was able to be a part of this and hope that in the future you will reserve a spot or two for the elderly. This is such a good way for us to get some much needed exercise."
"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!”
"This was my first year volunteering with iCan Bike. I really had no idea what to expect other than I knew we were helping children learn how to ride a bike. All I can say is "WOW" to the affect it had on me. I loved every moment of it! I volunteered for 4 of the 5 days and met little Gavin. He touched my heart and was so sweet. Watching Gavin learn to ride his bike on his own gave me so much joy. It is way beyond words how it feels to see the children's smiles and watch their confidence levels increase. Hats off to all of those that make this happen because we all know that behind the scenes requires a lot of work. Thank you Esther Maclin for allowing me the opportunity to enjoy the blessings that come along with the program. I can't wait until next year to volunteer again!"
"I just served as a volunteer at a session of your camp in San Antonio, TX. I wanted to let you know what a great program it was. By the end of the week all 8 of the riders in our session were on their own bikes, and most of them were riding with little or no spotting. Emily was our floor supervisor and I thought she was just great. She handled the riders, volunteers and parents beautifully. We were always on time and it was very organized. My 14 year old son worked with me (we had different riders) and it was a great experience for him too. All of the volunteers were so invested in each of the kids in our session learning to ride. I admit to being emotional when I saw how happy they all were to be riding so well.Thanks for having such a grat and impactful program for everyone. I can't say enough great thigns about it and Emily and John. We can't wait to be back next year."
"I volunteered at one of your iCan Bike programs earlier this year, in March. I just wanted to share my experience. The program came to my school, Lake Braddock Secondary. It took place after school. I knew several of the volunteers, and I also knew several of the riders. I was put in a group with other people in my grade. Our rider was a really sweet nine-year-old named Isabel. It got very tiring sometimes, running in circles in our cafeteria, and sometimes things were rough. There was another rider that scared Isabel, and he would chase her around. However, she was making progress. Each day she got more comfortable, and she completed a ton of laps!!! Then we moved outside, on a more difficult bike. She was amazing!!!! We were sprinting to keep up with her, and she did an excellent job on the hill. She did really well on her bike, and we are very proud of her. I'm really grateful for the experience, and I hope the program will come again to my school."-Sarah
"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!”