Learning to ride a bike.
“It’s a rite of passage that most children take for granted,” said Ginny Riddle, Co-director.
For these bike riders like Robert, it’s a huge accomplishment.
“He is so determined, he is so outgoing, his will, his strength,” said Mark Hudzik, Volunteer.
Robert is deaf.
He uses cochlear implants to hear some things, but also uses sign language to communicate.
Mark Hudzick is a volunteer who helps Robert learn to never give up, even if he wobbles.
“Watching that whole journey all week and knowing that you are a part of that, for some of these children, how do you explain it, it’s probably one of their biggest accomplishments and that’s really cool and we’re all apart of that,” said Mark Hudzik, Volunteer.
It’s not just about the riders, it’s the parents who come, sit and watch from day one to day five.
Vee Hayes watches as her son Jake pedals around the gym.
Jake has autism and is non-verbal, but his mom can tell from the smile on his face, he loves to ride.
“I’m just speechless, my heart is just overwhelmed with joy and I just never thought that Jake could ever ride a bike in his life,” said Vee Hayes, Parent.
“That’s why we bring it back year after year because not only did our son learn to ride, but there were so many success stories that first year, Lea and I said, we gotta keep doing this,” said Ginny Riddle, co-director.
Co-directors Ginny and Lea Riddle have a son with autism.
They started the camp 5 years ago to give him and others the opportunity to learn how to ride.
“It still makes me emotional because it’s just so great. It’s something we can do as a family. He enjoys riding on the Greenway and even though he doesn’t speak a word, he will go get his helmet and bring us his helmet to put on and that means let’s go for a bike ride,” said Ginny Riddle, co-director.
Creating lasting memories by finishing that last lap with a helmet, a bike, and a smile.
To learn more you can head to this website: https://icanshine.org/ican-bike-roanoke-va/