Ride On, Bike Campers!

From August 10-14, 2015, 35 children and young adults with special needs and 120 volunteers came together at Soka University for UCP-OC’s annual Bike Camp, hosted in partnership with Down Syndrome Association of Orange County. Learning to ride a bike is a quintessential childhood experience, but it can be especially challenging for children with special needs. Through the iCanShine program’s adapted bikes and specially trained staff, learning to ride a bike goes from a daunting undertaking to a proud accomplishment.

Arissa with her volunteers
Arissa with her volunteers

Bike Camper Arissa is 10 years old and always wanted to learn to ride a bike but was scared to do so. Her grandmother, Anita, stumbled across a page about it while searching online for training wheels. Anita is so glad that Arissa can now ride a bike because she believes that being able to ride a bike is a vital part of being a kid. She will never forget the huge smile of joy on Arrissa’s face when she was riding the bike at camp, especially the tandem bike. Arissa and Anita agree that the volunteers and staff were fantastic – motivational, dedicated, and fun! We hope you enjoy this interview with them.