Special Camp Teaches People with Disabilities How to Ride A Bike - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Special Camp Teaches People with Disabilities How to Ride A Bike

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HERMISTON, Ore. - Learning to ride a bike is a classic rite of passage, but it doesn't always come easy for some.

Matt and Lisa DeLong's daughter, Bailey, lives with down syndrome, and riding a bike has always been a challenge for the 26-year-old. Bailey's parents said their daughter would often get frustrated that she wasn't able to pick up the skill.

"She could never learn to ride...she never had the ability to stay up," said Lisa DeLong. "I've tried and she's tired of dad trying to help," added Matt DeLong.

After years of trying to teach her, they decided to enroll her in a bike camp through the iCan Shine organization. The program's mission is to provide learning opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

"We want her to have as normal of a life as she can have and so this just another opportunity for her to have a skill that most kids enjoy, riding bikes," said Matt.

All weeklong, Bailey and 30 other participants spent 75 minutes a day learning to ride bikes. They started with rollers attached to the back of the bike and the goal was to have the training wheels off by the end of the week.

"They have patience with the kids...they have really good interaction with them," said Lisa when asked about to the program.  "They know how to talk to them without belittling or making them feel like they're less--this is an awesome program," she continued.

Despite research showing that 90% of people with down syndrome will never experience the thrill of pedaling a bike, the iCan Shine program is changing lives one rider at a time.

Organizers said this year's camp doubled in size and that by the end of week, 80% of the participants were riding bikes on their own.

When asked how she felt about having learned to ride a bike, Bailey replied, "It feels good inside."

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