Testimonials from the mail box
Hi - I am emailing you from Sterling Heights, Michigan where my son Trevor attended your bike camp the last weekend in June with Univ. of Michigan. I worked that week with Lucy Talbot (of the Families Exploring Down Syndrome) and got to watch all the kids learn to ride a 2 wheel bike. It was so awesome, I had tears for each one of them when they accomplished this very difficult skill.
My son Trevor was in the local newspaper and on television for the news. He was so proud of himself. Trevor learned the very first day to ride a 2 wheel bike and went outside the rest of the days to ride around the campus.
Both my husband and myself want to THANK YOU very much for giving Trevor this opportunity. We told Trevor that he has to ride his bike everyday, so everyday we ride bikes as a family and love it. It is people like yourself that make a difference for our kids!!!
Name Withheld -- Sterling Heights MI, July 2005
Good Afternoon (to the Klein's),
I just wanted to dash a short e-mail off to you about the difference the bike class has made so far for Sarah. When we came home yesterday from our last day of class Sarah immediately wanted to go biking (also called "showing off to the neighbors"). She rode her bike up the street to the trail in our park and rode back and forth for quite awhile. When that got dull she rode around the baseball diamond and over all the bases.
Sarah quickly learned that going over a base too fast meant you would almost lose your balance, so she slowed down. Last night she and her Dad took off and rode around the local school and it's parking lot. This morning as soon as she got up she wanted to go riding. She did. Not only did she ride she took out the harder bike, the one with gears and hand brakes only, and did just fine with it. If it wasn't to darn hot she would be out right now.
THANK YOU!!! Sarah does a lot of therapy with very little obvious benefit. This time not only was the benefit obvious it was immediate, something SHE'S been really really wanting to do and - best of all - she is PROUD of herself. She's been strutting around announcing to everyone that she is a BIKE RIDER. We are proud of her too, but it is just glowing out of her.
By the way, I did find out why she was crying most of the time on Monday and Tuesday. Yes, she had a cold, but the main reason was she thinks she saw our neighbor girl (age 7) riding her bike last weekend without training wheels. It was a hard blow to Sarah as this girl can now read and do harder math than Sarah, even though the neighbor girl is in 1st grade and Sarah is in 3rd. Sarah was so determined, and impatient, to learn how to bike so she would not fall behind in yet another skill. (The truth is our neighbor's daughter can't ride yet...but I'll let Sarah discover that later.)
Thanks again. I'll let you know how this saga continues.
Name Withheld, St. Paul MN, July 2005.
Dear Dr. and Mrs. Klein,
Thank you so much for all you have done for my son Mark. During the past week I have seen a child who is proud of himself. You have done more than just help him ride a bike, you have helped a child feel good about himself. In this field, sometimes that is hard to come by. You have also given me a great gift. For the first time in over a year I feel hopeful. Hopeful that my beloved son will feel happy and feel “normal.” I hope my son can feel the wind in his face and the speed and freedom of movement while riding a bike. Most of all, I want him to be like other boys and his friends, hanging out and riding their bikes. For the first time I feel hopeful that it will happen.
Thank you for all you do!
Name withheld, Dupage County IL (August 2003)
My son Josiah attended your camp this summer (2004) in Minnesota. My son is 12 years old (autistic) and he had never ridden a bike before. He learned to ride a bike during the camp quickly and now he loves riding a bike. He rides a bike everyday and not only he rides but he started to experiment with dare devil things!! He learned to go up and down the deck. Of course, he learned to keep his hands off the handlebars once in a while....; ) I brought him to a nearby lake where he can go up and down the steep hill and he totally loved it. He went up and down so many times trying to get better at it!! We are thinking about getting him a mountain bike next year so he won't destroy his new cruiser bike!
Thank you so much for opening up a new world for Josiah. He loves biking, he feels good about himself and it's a great exercise!!
Name withheld, Minneapolis MN
Hi Dick and Marj,
I know you and Marj will be happy to know that we have been riding bikes with Jacob (diagnosed with autism, age 13) consistently at least 1x weekly, while the weather has been warm. It is just about too cold now to ride, but Jacob has the riding thing down well, that I don't think we will lose any abilities over the winter. We are so proud of Jacob, and he is so proud of himself, as well. I hope you know what a difference you are making in the lives of families, such as ourselves. If there is anything we can ever do to help on this end, please let me know.
Name withheld, Lewes DE
My husband and I thank you so much for your fabulous bike camp --- Summer 2004. This was a life learning experience for our daughter, and our last resort for her to be able to ride a bike “without” training wheels. At eleven years of age -- in just three days she learned to ride a bike thanks to this bike program. My husband and I see a new confidence and higher self esteem in her that wasn’t there before. Keep up your good work!
Sincerely, Name withheld, Wheaton IL
From Michigan, an initial inquiry:
I just ran across your name and idea for bike training while searching on the internet. My husband was trying to come up with something and then we found you! We have an eleven yr. old son with Septo-Optic-Dysplasia. He has functional vision and is probably at a 7-8 yr. level developmentally. He is sooo afraid to learn to ride without training wheels. He has overcome much with surgery, therapy, prayer and God's help. I discovered that this past March he expressed in his journal at school how sad he was because he couldn't ride his bike without training wheels. As you can imagine, this excludes him from neighborhood activities. On top of that, the neighbors are younger than him. Could you please direct us to where we could get him into one of your "camps"?
The Outcome (from Michigan): [Note: The child, Scott, attended a Lose The Training Wheels adapted bike program in the summer of 2004 in conjunction with Easter Seals of DuPage County, Illinois.]
I want to express my deepest appreciation to you and your wife, for the
sacrifice you make in helping children like Scott.
This morning Scott rode his bike for me. You should have seen him, pure
happiness, confidence, and a huge sense of accomplishment was radiating from
He was so proud, as I was of him. I jogged along side of him for at least a
mile or more ( a big feat for me), and he did terrific! I am on vacation
this week and we will be practicing every day.
I also want to thank you for including my oldest son as a helper. As he was
telling me about his involvement, I could sense in him a feeling of
accomplishment and maturity. I am also very proud of him.
Last, I want to thank you for encouraging my wife, before, during and after
this week. She was crying tears of relief and joy as she was watching Scott
ride his bike this morning. I am very blessed of GOD for the wife and
children he has given me.
May GOD bless you and your wife as you continue to help others.
David (name witheld)
P.S. As a machinist/engineer/inventor, I can truly appreciate the effort
you put forth in developing and building the training bikes!
The Outcome After a Long Winter [Note: This note below was received April 30, 2005.]
The happiness Dave and I felt today as we watched Scott ride his brand new bike in a large church parking lot almost matched the feeling I had in Chicago last summer! Scott rode and rode and kept saying "I'm doing it, I'm doing it!" After a loooonnngg winter here in Michigan , it has been 7-8 months since Scott last rode his smaller bike. He can start on his own, use the hand brakes and stop quite well. We took lots of pictures of a very happy, proud boy! I will be attending Scott's IEP at school soon and will pass out your cards to the therapists in person (so I know they pay attention vs. getting them in the mail). I want to thank you AGAIN for making Scott's dream come true. I located his original journal page, written in March 2004, in which he wrote how badly he felt about not riding a bike. He later had to fill in a page about perseverence....and you guessed it....he wrote how he could now ride a bike!
From the Chicago Illinois area:
I just wanted to let you know that Tommy is doing really well with his bike riding. He still needs some help getting on and he is doing much better with braking (we have been working on that - you see, once he is on the bike riding, he doesn't want to stop!) and I suspect he will have that down pat soon. I can't thank you enough for your program! He can ride his bike for over a half hour at a time. It is so great to see him so happy and having so much fun!
You have given Tommy a gift to ride and more self confidence with him riding. I have always told him that he can do anything he wanted to do. I have told him it may take him a little longer and he may have to try a little harder but he will do it. And he did! His determination will help him succeed. In his words "This is so much fun"!
Thanks again for taking the time to help not only Tommy, but all of the children who need that extra help. God Bless you!!
Ann Marie (name withheld)
Hi Dr. Dick,
Thank you and your wife for coming to Delaware to do the Bike Camp for us last week in Sussex County. My husband and I were able to buy Nate a brand new bike (with help from grandparents). Nate finished bike camp on Friday and by Sunday we were able to get him the bike. It's nothin fancy just a black and gray "Retro Cruiser." We rode for a few days in the closed down Acme parking lot and then went to one of the side roads around the corner because he was getting in a rut with always wanting to go in a circle. (He was trying to do circles at first on the straightaway but that has changed now.) The handlebars on this bike are quite a bit different than the straight handlebars used at the camp and that is still causing Nate to wobble some on the steering but I am hoping he will get this with time. He still dosen't have the braking down except by putting his feet down. Don told me that Nate rode a bike with hand-brakes at the camp the day I wasn't there.? If this is so then maybe we could change the handle bars and get different brakes. I'm not sure on that one. Also how would I teach him how to use the hand brakes? Anyways...today we had our first family bike ride down the back road. It went pretty well. I think I only got off 3 times and gave him a push (once to get out of a low ditch). We don't even have the training handle yet. That's coming in soon. Well thanks again for all your hard work. It is a blessing to our family. Our "Bike man" is really getting blessed.
Sue, Don and Nate (name withheld)
P.S. We've ridden almost every day since camp let out.
Hi Dr. and Mrs. Klein,
We (Tyler and I) are riding bikes every day. Wow, I still can’t believe it!! Thanks again for all you do.
My son, Matt, is in the 1-2:30 class this week at College Church in Wheaton. (He's the C.S. Lewis fan). After class today we stopped by the Glen Ellyn Bike Shop to look at their bikes and I showed the guy there the sheet you gave us about bike recommendations. (snip)
Thank you so much for your help and your enthusiasm in this program. What a blessing you are to so many of us parents who have struggled with this issue with our kids!
Sallie (name withheld)
An Inquiry from Sweden:
Dr. Klein, In essence, I posed my (previous) question (about the adapted bike program) because the subject is important, your
results are so good and it would be nice if more children could
attend. Of course not only in Europe, but I guess that is natural
starting point for expansion.
An Inquiry from California:
Both of my daughters had the pleasure of attending your bike camp this summer in Davis. Tracey learned to ride, and Jessica needs some more time. Tracey loves riding her bike and I believe learning to ride a bike has also helped her to become more confident in the pool. Thank you so much!
I would love for you to come to my area, San Ramon, next summer. Do you have your schedule set already? What are the requirements in terms of space, equipment, costs, etc. I've been talking to teachers and administrators in our school district about your wonderful program and I think they would be very supportive. I think I can also involve local businesses to provide support. Please let me know if this is possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Lisa (Name withheld)
A Parent's Initial Inquiry (from) Illinois
A million thank you's for all of the information you sent!!! I will
contact Easter Seals of DuPage and hopefully get him (Zach) registered. I look forward to meeting you. Thank you for all you are doing in helping children with special needs....you will never know how much parents, like me, deeply appreciate your dedication and time. Riding a bicycle, while so trivial to others, is something that parents of children with special needs simply dream of at times. You are helping our dreams come true. Many blessings to you, sir.
Lynda (Name withheld)
And the after-bike camp note:
Thanks for sending the information (about the web site). I will pass it on to some of my friends. My son, Zach, took your program in June this summer and did great. He rides his bike every day the weather will allow. Thanks so much for everything you did. All good things to you, Sir.
Lynda (Name withheld)