Childhood Independence "BIKE NOW"
One of the largest parts of childhood independence is learning how to ride a bike!
For most children, the biggest obstacle of learning to ride a bike is fear. However, for others it's a physical or developmental disability.
"Bike Now", was a week long bike camp, put on by Medford Children's Therapy and Jackson Care Connect (aiming to teach anyone how to ride, no matter the disability.)
Occupational Therapist, Rebbeccah Bieri, with Medford Children's Therapy, is an avid cyclist. Rebbeccah helps people with physical or developmental disabilities to become as independent as possible. She is an avid cyclist and enjoys competitions. Over the years she has realized how limiting it is for those patients who never learned how to ride a bike. After been asked by many, " Can you help me, teach my child to ride a bike?" Rebeccah, knew with her skills alone she did not have what it took to teach those with physical or development disabilities how to ride a bike.
Rebeccah Bieri, began her search.... researching, and researching, she learned of a Portland based program called "Bike First!" "Bike First", helps young people with disabilities such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy learn how to ride bikes. "Bike First", is similar to camp "Lose the Training Wheels", in California. Rebeccah's goal to have bike camp in Southern Oregon, as oppose to kids having to travel to Portland.
With lots of organizing, planning, and support Rebeccah and her supervisor, Deirdre Nixon, Clinical Director of Medford Children's Therapy began planning in January 2015 Southern Oregon's first bike camp, called "BIKE NOW"!
Medford Children's Therapy and staff worked to publicize the camp, raising awareness and raising funds partnering with Jackson County Connect. Rebbeccah coordinated and organized the set up of camp with the director of "Bike First" , because these camps don't use just any type of bikes to teach their participants.
Lose the Training Wheels developed a step-by-step teaching approach using bikes of different sizes and styles called "the fleet."The starter is an "outrigger bike," which has two training wheels that are mounted on a hydraulic system. The pneumatic apparatus allows the training wheels to stay on the ground on twists and turns for optimal balance. Once riders are comfortable on the outrigger, they move to a two-person tandem bike, where a volunteer controls the bike from the back seat. Participants then graduate to a two-wheeled standard bike with a long handle attached to the frame behind the seat. One volunteer holds the handle, and another runs beside the rider. The final step: two wheels, two hands and a single rider controlling the bike.Although not everyone is comfortable on a bike, they all learned to ride! :)Everyone had a wonderful week! It was a positive experience!Southern Oregon looks forward to "BIKE NOW" 2016.
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