Amber is from near Fond du Lac WI, and is diagnosed with a combination of disabilities — autism and Down syndrome. It took us about three days to convince Amber to even wear a helmet, much less get near or on a bike. With our children we like to discover what magic will turn them on. In Amber’s case she loves having her picture taken, so our volunteer helper has camera ready to take Amber’s picture. To the right, Amber is on one of our trainer bikes. She can’t yet pedal while riding, but we were able to get her to pedal while stationary (on the stand to the left). On a bike that moves, we removed the pedals so that Amber could propel herself along using her feet. We have noticed Amber starting to get the feel for balance by making steering corrections, and getting used to the feel of a bike that moves. In working with so many children with so many challenges we have learned to be flexible. We will improvise and strategize as challenges pop up. Please don’t think that our program consists of a few bikes — instead it consists of bikes mixed with a caring and devoted staff, and with lots of engineering as well as therapy experience and creativity thrown in.

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