The goal of iCan Bike is to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. The iCan Bike program is five days (M-F) and is organized by the iCan Shine nonprofit organization. Riders travel from all over, even out of state, to participate in five 70- minute sessions throughout the week. Each day, progress is made and the riders slowly move from riding inside a gym to riding outside on a track. This year, 22 riders participated in the iCan Bike camp in eastern Oregon at Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston.
The experience and memories last a lifetime, not just for the riders, but for volunteers as well. Trusting relationships are built between the riders and the volunteers. At the Hermiston camp, more than 50 volunteers gave their time, encouraging, motivating and assisting the kids. Rylee Gentner, a 2018 Pendleton High School Graduate and iCan Bike volunteer, stated, “The best part of volunteering is seeing the progression of the kids over the week and seeing the smiles on their faces when they progress to each level of riding a bike.”
The iCan Bike week cannot happen without the support from the community and local organizations. A big thank you goes to Hermiston Kiwanis, Hermiston School District, InterMountain ESD, Commoncare grant, Scott Cycle and other local sponsors that helped make this event successful.