We were thrilled to recently have the opportunity to teach bicycling to Special Olympics athletes. This was the third year in a row that we taught bicycling at Special Olympics Missouri‘s summer sports camp.
Some athletes already know how to ride a bike when they arrive at camp, and we work with them on skills like balance, turning, and starting and stopping with control.
Many athletes, though, are not yet able to ride a bike. We start them on Strider bikes without pedals so they can learn balance by pushing with their feet and coasting. Eventually we transition the athletes up to bikes with pedals, with spotters on either side to help steady them as they learn to pedal the bike on their own.
By the end of the week, almost all of the athletes are able to ride a bike independently, and all have improved their skills.
This is a really incredible experience for everyone involved: the bike instructors, Special Olympics staff, athletes, and parents. See this Special Olympics blog post to read the inspiring stories of Don, a 69 year-old athlete with two recent hip replacements, and Logan, who circled the facility yelling, “I can ride a bike!” and would hardly stop for anyone.