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Gavin's Story

Gavin’s family enrolled him in the iCan Bike program in the summer of 2023. The goal of this program is to teach children with disabilities to ride a conventional, two wheeled bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. 

Clients use adapted bicycles and receive 75 minutes of specialized instruction from trained volunteers each day of their program. The benefits go beyond the children learning to ride their bikes — families feel the positive effects, too.

Bikers and volunteers at iCan Bike

“This is such an incredible program,” says Gavin’s dad. “There was a point where I saw him riding the bike all by himself. I had tears in my eyes. I had to call my wife right away and let her know how well he was doing.”

The bikes have a roller wheel on the back that provides balance when they are turning. This wheel also gives the rider a feel of what it's like to turn on a conventional bike. 

An adapted bike with a roller wheel at the back.

Gavin’s mom heard about this program through a friend and was overjoyed when she discovered Gavin was eligible and there was space for him in the next session. “Gavin had always expressed an interest in wanting to ride a bike,” she says. “But we didn’t how to help his goal come to fruition. Training wheels for a bike his size are impossible to find. We began feeling hopeless. We wanted him to learn while also being safe and instilling confidence in him.”

The iCan Bike program provided Gavin with a bike that not only allows him to ride safely, but also allows him to hit milestones and make him feel assured in himself and his own abilities, especially when learning a new skill.

Gavin holds out his bicycle license 

“Learning how to ride helped him so much. He was so confident,” says Gavin’s Mom. “Every summer we go camping and Gavin can never join the other boys who camp with us on their bike rides. I was so emotional when he told me how excited he was to ride with them this summer. That he didn’t have to feel left out anymore. Something as simple as learning to ride a bike makes him feel more included.”  

Even his little sister expressed her excitement in Gavin’s new skill. 

“It was so much fun watching him learn to ride a bike. Now we can go on rides together!”

Gavin and his sister riding their bikes on a track

Gavin, and children and teens just like him, gain skills that many take for granted through programs just like this one at ErinoakKids. 

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