STARKVILLE, MISS. (WCBI)- A bike ride for most children is part of every day play.
However for a child with a disability, riding a bike independently is a real challenge.
But now, thanks to the Bulldog Bike Camp that challenge has become a little easier.
“It’s kind of separating when you’re eight and still have training wheels, and the other boys in the neighborhood are riding their bikes,” said Tonya Harrison, whose son Henry, attended the camp.
Harrison said her son, Henry has always wanted to ride a two wheel bike independently.
“We’ve ridden a bike with training wheels for a long time, but he’s eight, and he’s very tall, and so it’s time for us to try and move on,” she said.
Harrison said they’ve tried to take the training wheels off of his bike, but there were a few struggles.
“Well we have a lot of balance issues,” said Harrison. “He just has a hard time keeping his balance, and maintaining his balance on the bike, and really in just every day life.”
Determined to get her son riding a wheeled bike, Harrison brought her son to the Bulldog Bike Camp for some assistance.
“It’s a modified bike with the rear wheel removed and it’s got sort of like a baking pin rubber roller on each side where the wheel would be, and there’s a slight taper on it, so the balance part is still being mastered in the middle,” said Gregg Twietmeyer, MSU professor and organizer of the camp. “The taper allows for that wiggle room so that they have to balance or learn where that balance point is.”
While the kids are riding they also have helpers guiding them along the way.
“It’s important because it helps develop independence,” said Twietmeyer.
Twietmeyer said his goal is to have parents like Tonya, and kids like Henry finally accomplish their goal and ride a two wheeler by themselves.
“We bought a brand new bicycle and a brand new helmet that he picked out so he would have some motivation to get on out there and do that, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” said Harrison.
The camp partnered with the non profit charity ICanShine.
This is the first year MSU has hosted the week long camp.