Individuals with differing abilities gained confidence, independence, and athletic skill during Harford County’s fourth ICanBike Camp last week.
Harford County Hosted Bike Camp Last Week for Individuals with Special Needs
Last Friday saw the successful conclusion of Harford County’s ICanBike Camp for individuals with differing abilities, age eight and over. The camp was offered through the Office of Disability Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. Camp participants got the chance to experience the thrill of riding a bike for the first time.
“For me, it’s really kind of special to be able to offer this to children of all different abilities so that they can kind of feel that feeling that you may have had, or I may have had, when we first learned how to ride a bike,” commented County Executive Glassman.
The ICanBike Camp was developed by the iCan Shine nonprofit. Since its founding in 2007, more than 20,000 participants in the ICanBike program have learned to ride conventional bicycles. The program uses a fleet of adaptive bicycles, a specialized instructional program, and trained staff to teach individuals with disabilities how to ride. Over the course of the camp, the adaptive bike is adjusted gradually to introduce more instability to challenge riders at their own pace.
This summer’s Bike Camp was held at the Churchville Recreation Center and consisted of five daily 75-minute sessions. Trained staff and volunteers physically assisted riders, preventing falls and moving riders toward greater independence. Riders were able to work with the same volunteer trainers throughout the entire week.
“We’re basically just there to guide them, make sure they’re not falling, and the biggest thing is just making sure they’re safe and motivated,” explained ICanBike volunteer Alex Stuart. “So when they’re feeling down and they don’t want to go anymore, we’re there push them along. When adversity hits, we’re there to push them.”
All riders received a T-shirt and a medal of completion at the closing ceremony on the last day of camp. Details about the camp can be found in this Baltimore Sun article.
For more information about the camp or to inquire about next spring’s ICanBike Camp, contact Rachel Harbin at the Office of Disability Services at (410) 638-3733 or email email@example.com