iCan Bike teaches students with disabilities how to ride

(WJLA) - Some local students with disabilities are taking a major step this week. Their classmates are teaching them how to ride a bike.

With several spotters by her side, Chyna Johnson, 14, is off to the races. She’s learning to ride a bike through a program called iCan Bike.

iCan Bike focuses on increasing independence and mobility for students with disabilities.

“It helps disabled kids get a feel of how to be more independent because if they won’t be able to use a car they can use a bike as a form of transportation,” says Zaynah Mohamed.

What makes it even better is that they’re being taught by other students at Herndon Middle School and forming new friendships.

The process is gradual.

“Yesterday was kind of hard,” says Alex Velasco. “Today is funner because I get to see how happy he is.”

They start on roller bikes with a regular tire on the front and a roller bar on the back.

“It allows them to gradually learn what it feels like to balance,” says Lisa Ruby, the executive director.

Then they move to a tandem bike. By Friday, the goal is for them to ride a two-wheeled bike on their own.

“It gives them self-confidence, self-esteem, and they really feel like they can do anything,” Ruby says.

They’re already making great progress. Chyna says she will be riding solo by Friday.

“I ride, like, 10 miles.”

And in this week altogether, all of the students are learning lifetime lessons.

“To be part of this just makes you feel so good about yourself and you just want to do it again,” says Camille Milligan.

iCan Bike is free for the students and is funded by the Fairfax County Public School System. It’s also offered at schools in 32 other states with plans to expand even further soon.

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