EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – For some kids, summer means riding bikes around the neighborhood and for others, it means learning how to ride one.
That’s what some children are doing this week in Evansville with the help of Easterseals Rehabilitation Center.
They learned to ride their two-wheel bikes in this parking lot usually full of four-wheeled vehicles.
“We love it, and I think it’s working really well for her,” said Pat Carson, whose granddaughter, Lyric Harman, was in the camp.
“It’s fun and you can get good exercise out of it,” Harman added. She is learning to ride her bike, just like her friends.
“It’s been easy and hard sometimes,” she said.
“It’s something she’s wanted to do so she can be like the other kids in the neighborhood,” Carson adds.
More than 20 children with disabilities are learning through iCan Bike, a week long bike riding camp for children with disabilities. Each child, eight and older, spends more than an hour, learning to ride. They first use specially designed bikes, then with others by their side.
“The fact that they get so much self esteem, and so much excitement from being able to do something all their peers are doing, or that other family members are doing, that they haven’t been able to ride a regular, two-wheel bike,” said Patty Balbach of Easterseals, who also runs the camp.
It’s more than about building self-esteem, it’s also about building lifelong skills.
“I see a young man that was in one of my very first camps, who learned how to ride, he’s unable to drive and now, he is in his 20s, and I see him riding his bike to and from work. It lasted through his teen years and into adulthood,” said Balbach.
Harlan says she’s learned a lot about bike riding, and enjoyed a lot.
“It’s good for you to learn and it gets you good exercise,” she said.
(This story was originally published on June 9, 2021)