… Presented by Bike to the Beach
Tuesday, May 31st – Saturday, June 4, 2016
Bike to the Beach is proud to announce that we have partnered with Mason LIFE at George Mason University and iCan Shine to host the first 18 and older iCan Bike Camp. Our five-day program is taking place May 31st – June 4th in Fairfax, Virginia.
iCan Bike uses a fleet of adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program and a trained staff to teach individuals with disabilities how to ride a bike. Riders attend the same 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days (Tuesday – Saturday) whereby they are physically assisted and encouraged by two volunteer “spotters”.
Over the course of the 5-day camp the adapted bike is adjusted to gradually introduce more instability in an effort to challenge riders at their own individual pace. The week is concluded with a touching and inspiring award ceremony!
Graduates of the program will receive a FREE registration to Bike to the Beach’s Family Challenge Charity ride, a 8-mile ride during the last leg of Bike to the Beach’s 100-mile autism ride from Washington, DC to Dewey Beach, DE.
Learn to bike during our program and join the George Mason iCanBike team for Bike to the Beach on July 29th.
|Share with your friends and RSVP on Facebook|
Get involved: Help Bike to the Beach meet our mission
Over the last ten years, the Bike to the Beach community has cycled over 2500 miles to support the autism community. However, the vast majority of people with disabilities never experience the thrill of independently riding a two-wheel bicycle during their lifetime. For example, recent research shows that over 80% of people with Autism never learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle.
Approximately 80% of the people who participate in iCan Bike programs learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently (at least 75 feet with no assistance) by the end of our five-day program while attending for only 75 minutes each day! The remaining 20% make tremendous progress towards this goal and leave our programs accompanied by parents and/or siblings trained as ‘spotters’ to pick up where we leave off!
By supporting iCanBike programs, we hope to inspire members of the George Mason community to join our cycling community and feel the joy and independence of cycling.
Volunteer for the bike camp:
|Be a “spotter” for the same rider for each of the 5 days and experience the thrill of giving the gift of riding a bike! 75 invigorating minutes per day… it just may be the most rewarding exercise and emotional experience you’ve ever had! Click here to volunteer to be a spotter for a rider email.|
|Join Team Mason LIFE|
|All Mason LIFE students, alumni, family and friends are invited to join our bike team!|
|Have fun on campus with George Mason University volunteers while you learn to bike at the iCan Bike GMU camp and then join our Mason LIFE Bike Team as we practice on weekends during the summer.|
These sessions will prepare our team to participate in Bike to the Beach’s Family Challenge, a 10-mile ride during the last leg of Bike to the Beach’s 100-mile ride from Washington, DC to Dewey Beach, DE on July 29, 2016. All campers and volunteers will receive FREE registration for this B2B’s ride.
|Share with your friends and RSVP on Facebook|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
|Why is Bike to the Beach hosting a bike camp? |
One important aspect of Bike to the Beach’s mission is to promote cycling. Bike to the Beach participants will have a chance to reconnect to the DC community by allowing them to contribute to their community by slowing down a little and providing exposure to DC’s unique neighborhoods and shopping options.
What do riders learn?
iCan Bike strives to teach individuals to ride such that they can be independent lifetime riders. In other words, such that they have sufficient riding skills that they can start, ride and stop their bike without any assistance in a safe and controlled manner.
Riders learn to balance, pedal, steer and take off on their own, many in five days or less. Riders will ride our adapted roller bicycles that gradually introduce the natural instability of a conventional two-wheel bike at their own individualized pace of progression.
Must the rider attend all 5 sessions?
Riders must attend all 5 days of the program. Every day is important. In addition, we prefer a guardian remain on site during the program in case of emergency and to offer support to their rider. You won’t want to miss the progress your rider makes and the first time they are on two wheels!
How long will it take for a rider to learn to ride a bike?
While all individuals learn at their own pace, some will be ready to ride on two wheels as soon as the third day of camp
Does this program really work?
Approximately 80% of the people who participate in our iCan Bike program ride a two-wheel bicycle independently – a feat parents say is miraculous. We encourage you to read our many Parent, Participant and Volunteer Testimonials.
What does the roller bike look like? Here are few examples of the roller bikes, in action:
These bikes are used to make riders comfortable on two wheels. As the rider gains confidence and comfort on the roller bicycle, the rear wheel of the roller bicycle is adjusted so that rollers increasingly mimic the feel of a real bicycle until the rider is able to balance and ride their own bike.
Refer to iCan Shine’s website where they have many videos of the bike camps on their home page. Riders can see pictures of roller bikes and watch videos to see what they will be doing during the program.
What are the benefits of biking?
There are many health benefits that are associated with cycling for people of all ages and abilities. For iCan Bike riders, most who have never been able to ride like their peers, there are additional benefits, such as:
Do riders need to bring a bike?
All riders must have an appropriate personal bike available for the iCan Bike program by no later than Thursday (Day #4) of the program. Our goal is to transition all riders to their personal bike towards latter part of the iCan Bike program such that they are comfortable with the bike they will be riding at home.
What is the volunteer to rider ratio?
Two volunteers are assigned to each rider to serve as their ‘spotters’ providing physical support, motivation and encouragement throughout the week.
What happens after the camp session?
Like all new bike riders, iCan Bike riders need practice and time to generalize the skills learned during the week. A family member or other designee is trained to continue working with the rider following the program. Having a bike suitable for learning and regular practice are the two most important factors in nurturing a new rider.
Bike to the Beach is offering graduates of its program free registration to its Bike to the Beach Family Challenge Charity ride, a 8-mile ride in Dewey Beach, MD to raise funds and awareness for autism. In the past, event participants have used this “challenge” event to motivate them to ride in preparation for the Charity ride.
Bike to the Beach plans to work with iCan Shine and other local organizations to plan training rides and other fun activities to help riders and their families prepare for the Family Challenge.
What if the rider has behavior issues?
iCan Bike has taught over 20,000 people with disabilities how to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle, and its staff has experience handling many behavioral issues. However, as you evaluate this program, it is important to consider behavior.
A person may be physically able to ride a bike, but if their behavior is such that they cannot be persuaded to get on the bike and follow instructions, then it is likely this program will not be beneficial. Although we strive to make the experience fun and productive for all riders, individuals with severe behavioral issues may be removed from the program if their actions are detrimental to the overall function of the program or potentially harmful to themselves or others.
|In partnership with:|