I Can Bike program gives Valley kids with disabilities chance to ride

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- With a quick push on his pedals, one young bike rider got a taste of freedom and joy. On Monday, the Sanger High School gymnasium was filled with bicyclists and volunteers working side by side to maneuver the art form of riding a bike.

"It's an activity that many families like to do together, and many people with disabilities have a tough time learning and are unsuccessful, and this is about an 80-percent success rate," said Karen Ray, director of the I Can Bike camp.

It's part of a national bike program brought to the Valley thanks to a partnership with Parker's Team and the Arc. The bikes are outfitted with special rollers, designed to help each rider stay balanced while learning how to ride.

Some riders, like Logan, were naturals right away. He said he likes to go fast on the bike. His own volunteers had to sprint to keep up with this budding bicyclist.

"He likes to go really fast, much faster than everybody else. I think he thinks that it's a race," said Devin Chaltraw, a camp volunteer. "He's having a great time, he's a great kid and he likes to bike apparently."

Volunteers say they felt honored knowing they played a role in helping give these kids independence.

"They probably never thought they could ride a bike, and when they're successful, just like when you and I are successful at something, it feels really good and it builds our self-confidence to go out and try new things," said Ray.

More than 30 kids from the Fresno County area are participating this summer. This is the fourth year the program has put on the camp.

The participants will keep riding on these bikes until Wednesday, and that's when organizers expect they'll ride two wheels for the very first time. It's an accomplishment many have only dreamed of until now.
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