**UPDATE: Unfortunately Brian did not win a Buddy Bike in The Great Bike Giveaway but the same day the winners were announced a good friend took it upon herself to set up a Go Fund Me page for Brian. We are so grateful for our wonderful friends, family, and community. If you’d like to help Brian get his very own adaptive bike follow the link!**
We have found that Brian loves the outdoors. Which is a good thing because this kid has energy to spare. Like most kids on the spectrum, he seems to enjoy sports that are not necessarily a team thing- like swimming, hiking, ice skating, and bike riding.
Though Brian never had any formal lessons he just picked up on swimming like he was a fish in his past life. Hiking always amazes us because he doesn’t ever have to stop to rest. He just keeps on going and going like the energizer bunny. His babysitter was the first to bring him ice skating and when they returned she was just amazed at how well he did for his first time. And biking, well, he likes the speed.
Biking definitely gives us the most worries. Though he picked up on the motor planning needed for biking fairly easily, he has never picked up on the rules of the road. We’ve often wanted to do a family bike ride but one of us grown-ups always needs to actually be on foot so we can run alongside Brian and keep him on the side of the road.
Something in his brain tells him that the middle of the road is where his bike needs to be and unless we are right there to be his personal bumpers he always ends up back on the yellow line.
He also has never mastered stopping. Yeah, that’s kind of an important skill. Going down hills is particularly dicey.
His visual attention to his surroundings is almost completely lacking.
He has no fear of cars. One of the wonderful trademarks of autism is lack of fear (though in some aspects they can also be more fearful- I’m sure some of you parents of ASD kids reading this are shaking your head thinking of vacuums, flushing toilets, or blenders). He has no concept that cars are going to hurt him. He needs a healthy amount of fear to truly be safe on his bicycle.
I have been eyeing a buddy bike for him for a couple of years now. They are these great adaptive bikes that are much like a tandem rider except the child sits in the front and the steering is still in the hands of the rear rider. If we had one it would make it so we could finally ride as a family and know Brian would be safe! We’d have a family activity that all four people could enjoy! It can be difficult to find activities like that. However the bikes tend to run around $1800 so it was never really an attainable dream for us.
And then just yesterday, a fellow BDN blogger, had shared that she had entered her daughter into the Great Bike Giveaway. I went to vote for her daughter and realized not only were they giving away the type of bike Hallee was trying to win but also giving away buddy bikes!
The Great Bike Giveaway is a fundraiser made possible by Friendship Circle. There are 8 different types of adaptive bikes being given away for all different kinds of kids. Within each bike category the child with the most nominations will automatically win a bike. In addition they’ll be raffling off more bikes. The more people donate, the more bikes they can give away!
So here we are to the point where I ask for your help. Consider voting for both Brian and Hallee by simply clicking the “Nominate” button on their pages. And then share their pages to help them both get more votes. And if you are able, consider making a donation to this cause so Friendship Circle can give away even more bikes!
To you and me, they might just be bikes. But for families like ours they really can make a huge difference helping our child feel more included in the world around them. Thank you!