PEORIA -- "It's as easy as riding a bike" is a saying we always use... but for some kids, learning to ride on two wheels isn't that simple.
Easter Seals and Lose the Training Wheels Program is helping kids with special needs learn a skill many take for granted.
Nine-year-old Cody Hurn can't wait to be able to ride a bike by himself. "It's just fun how you learn to ride a bike because once you learn, you pretty much never forget and after that you can pretty much ride with your family and have fun with your family riding bikes all the time."
Kids like Cody are spending five days learning to ride on a specially adapted bike. The bike has a roller as a back wheel.
Riders start with a flatter, more stable roller and as they progress, a thinner, more narrow roller is used, simulating a bike wheel.
Trainer Vanessa White said the equipment is life changing for so many kids. "It's so fascinating because the bikes are really built for learning. We get people with all kinds of disabilities and it doesn't really matter, they still work through the progressions."
Cody's mom Bethany Hurn said she's thankful her son has the opportunity to do something he's always dreamed of. "He has a high-fear anxiety factor and so this is a fabulous program because they're able to get them on the bikes and let them get used to the balance and gradually increase so they feel confident."
As for Cody, he's excited for what's to come. "I'm just looking forward to being able to finish this and be able to ride my bike whenever I want!"
This fall, Lose the Training Wheels will be going by a new name, "I Can Bike." The name change is part of the program's expansion. The program will be known as "I Can Shine" and start teaching other activities like swimming and skating.