iCan Bike Program Gives the Gift of Cycling

Posted On June 11, 2019 / Lifestyle

By: David Hahn

iCan Bike Greenville

Almost any cyclist can identify with the freeing feeling of riding a bike — wind in your face, muscles straining, just you and the road for a few minutes (or, if you’re lucky, a few hours). This is a powerful feeling, one of independence and freedom, and one that builds strength and character. It’s what made George Hincapie fall in love with riding as a young boy, and it’s what carried him through 17 Tour de France races. And it’s a feeling we think everyone deserves to have.

That’s why Hincapie supports iCanShine’s iCan Bike program.

The iCan Bike Program

Since 2007, iCan Shine’s iCan Bike program has helped approximately 3,000 individuals with disabilities per year learn how to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle. In just 75 minutes per day, participants leave this five-day camp with newfound confidence on and off the bike, an experience that parents, teachers, and therapists describe as “miraculous.” Thanks to the hard work and dedication of local organizations and volunteers, this experience is now available to the Greenville community from July 8-12, 2019.

About iCan Shine

iCan Shine is an international nonprofit organization that specializes in providing quality learning opportunities in recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. With programs in 35 states and Canada, iCan Shine conducts over 100 five-day camps per year. Thanks to years of research, months of planning, and passionate volunteers, these camps create an environment that empowers each person to maximize their individual abilities. After witnessing the success of the iCan Bike program, iCan Shine now offers iCan Swim and iCan Dance programs as well.

Joey Litko’s iCan Bike Transformation

Joey Litko used to believe that his autism would prevent him from ever learning how to ride a bike. For years his parents bought him bikes and he tried his best, but his confidence dropped each time he outgrew a bike without making progress. By the time Joey’s occupational therapist recommended the iCan Bike program he had already given up hope.

Thankfully, a push from his mother convinced Joey to give it one last try, and in just three days Joey was pedaling like a pro. As is often the case, the confidence Joey found on the bike translated to many other aspects of his life. The once picky eater is now open to trying new foods, he is comfortable interacting with people, and he is even confident enough to stand up to school bullies. “iCan Bike camp changed everything for us,” says Amy Litko, Joey’s mother and biggest fan. “Bike camp changed Joey from a scared little boy to a confident young man.”

Success stories like Joey’s are not uncommon for iCan Shine, who estimates that 80% of their participants learn how to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle independently by the end of the week, and the other 20% make tremendous progress that can easily be continued at home.

Supporting iCan Bike’s Mission

iCan Bike has the potential to positively impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in the Greenville community, which is why Hincapie Sportswear has agreed to support them in their goal. We have committed to supplying participants with Hincapie socks and jerseys to help encourage their journey and remind them that we have their back! While we are fortunate to have cycling apparel on hand to donate to this cause, you do not need to be a cycling apparel company to help support this program.

 

The success of iCan Bike relies heavily on the support of the local community, and there are many easy ways to be involved and make a difference. Donations of any amount are accepted and appreciated, and a $100 donation with sponsor a child. Additionally, volunteering only required 75 minutes of participation for five days, and will likely be one of the most rewarding and emotional experiences you’ve ever had. To become a volunteer, sponsor, or to donate, please contact Rebecca Barnes at: rbarnes@ymcagreenville.org.

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