What an experience Lose the Training Wheels Bike Camp was for our family! The staff and volunteers were so caring, compassionate and patient. I know that my son is not always the easiest person to teach; but they gave him all the attention, time and compassion he needed. In fact, my son had bonded so well with some of the staff and volunteers that on Friday, once he got into our car, he let me know how upset he was that he will never see some of them again.
By Thursday morning, my son was riding his bike with the hands on help of two of the trainers. They held him up as he pedaled and taught him how to use his brakes properly. We were so excited for Friday to come, and for good reason. On Friday, my son was riding his own bike! He no longer needed the roller, the handle or someone running next to him. He glowed with confidence and joy as he rode his own bike next to his trainer.
The joy we feel is palpable to those around us. In fact, as I watched him ride around that parking lot, all I could do was cry and smile. This has become a turning point for our son and our family. As a parent of a child with special needs, I am sure you know the feeling. Remember the first time your child did what the doctors said could never be done? The best part about this experience is that my son has learned that though many things in life are hard; they are not impossible. He now agrees wholeheartedly with me when I share with others all the things the doctors said he couldn’t do. In fact, several times since he has learned how to ride a bike, he has been the one to share what God has done and continues to do with him daily. My son was never supposed to walk, run, talk, become potty trained or eat independently. Now, not only is he doing all of those things but he is also riding his own bike with no help from anyone!
The independence and self-confidence that learning how to ride a two-wheeled bike has instilled in him is amazing and heart warming. He was already making plans for all the places he was going as soon as he got home on Thursday night and Friday morning. In fact, everyday since he has learned how to ride, he has had plans as to where he wants to go. We have had to tell him over and over that he won’t be going anywhere on his bike without one of us. At least, not yet!
Since that Friday, we have been riding daily either as a family or just my son and I. His skill has been improving and we have been able to take him to places that we never imagined he could go. Though taking him through the woods the first day after he learned how to ride was a disaster…LOL! Those trees kept getting in his way! But, the great part of bike riding that day was seeing him persevere and never give up trying to make it through those woods on his bike. We know that one day very soon, he will be trail riding with his father and I.
Lose The Training Wheels Bike Camp is a must for those of you who want your child to ride a two-wheeled bike independently. After 12 years of fighting, crying, meltdowns, endless frustrations and being bullied by strangers; it took the staff just 4 days to teach him! God is so good!!
Thank you so much Darren and all the staff and volunteers from the North Brunswick Lose The Training Wheels Bike Camp. You are a huge blessing to my family and we couldn’t have done this without you. We praise God that we were introduced to this camp and we freely share the blessings we received by attending.
PLEASE comment if you have been to Lose The Training Wheels Bike Camp. I would LOVE to hear your story. Looking forward to chatting with you soon. From my family to yours ~ we thank you all for your prayers. God heard each and every one of them and blessed our son and family tremendously!
I’m not sure how your teen is with fine and gross motor skills but my son has always needed all the extra help he can get. It took me 3 years to teach him how to pedal a bike…but, the balance part just wasn’t happening; no matter how hard we tried. We have been riding tandem bikes at the beach for over 6 years now but as soon as it’s time for him to get on his own bike, he just couldn’t get it. So, after all the tears, outbursts, meltdowns and drama, oh and broken bikes and training wheels; we finally had to take a break from the entire bike riding adventure. 😦 In case you were wondering…the tears, outbursts and drama came not only from our son but also his Dad and I! LOL 😉
Earlier this year, I was sent an email from a group called For This One and they would be hosting a bike camp called LoseTheTrainingWheels. ForThisOne states that:
Lose The Training Wheels™ is a nonprofit tax-exempt charitable organization that is much more than just a bike-riding program. For many people with disabilities, it’s a seemingly impossible task that they can typically master in less than a week’s time through our program. Within days of learning to ride, many children begin exhibiting independent behaviors at home. This achievement, in turn, creates a gateway of opportunity, helping them gain assurance and self-reliance in many other aspects of their lives.
Hmmm, a group that can teach our son how to ride a bike in only 5 days??? Well, we were very skeptical, to say the very least. But, we prayed on it and decided to sign up anyway.
After receiving a scholarship to attend, my hubby and I eagerly talked to and encouraged our son regarding learning how to ride a bike in an easy and fun way. Our son read all the handouts and by Monday of this week; he was eager and ready to go. Now, bike camp is an hour and a half away and only lasts for 75 minutes, Monday through Friday. Those in my life who don’t have a child with special needs in their life shared their disbelief that I would drive the distance daily just so my son can learn to ride a bike. Why not teach him myself? Who cares if he can ride a bike? This isn’t really a necessity….blah, blah, blah! The world of ‘normalcy’ that people who don’t live with a loved one with a disability live in colors their entire vision when it comes to looking at the world my family lives in. It’s worth it to us! I’d drive 3 hours a day for five days if it means at the end my son will accomplish a goal that will bring him life long enjoyment and fulfillment.
So, today is the third day of camp and I can’t wait until Friday gets here!! Do you think he will finally get it?!?!???? We do!! I’ll let you know the outcome soon!! For now, just keep us in your thoughts and prayers as our son works hard to overcome a challenge that has been a part of his life for 10 years and counting.
The weather here is absolutely beautiful. So, I was wondering how involved your teen is when it comes to cleaning your car? My son LOVES to help…..as long as he has access to the hose.
We usually end up wetter and soapier than our car! LOL. I’m okay with that because in the end, we have spent a memorable time together . Sometimes the car actually ends up cleaner than it was when we started. 😉