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Bike First! Bike Camp 2022

June 20-24, 2022,
De La Salle North Catholic High School in NE Portland

Bike First! 2022 Schedule

Due to the state of the pandemic and medically fragile riders, ALL campers, caregivers, and volunteers/workers must be fully vaccinated following CDC definitions in order to enter the building and participate. As of March 12th, masks are optional. Vaccination cards will be required on applications.


Leader Meeting: Saturday, June 18

MANDATORY Parent/Guardian Meeting: Sunday, June 19 at 7:00 PM - De La Salle North Catholic High School. (One representative only with rider) 

MANDATORY Volunteer/Spotter Dinner and Meeting: Sunday, June 19 at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM - De La Salle North Catholic High School 

Celebration: Friday, June 24 (lunch hour)

Bike Week Dates: June 20 - 24

  • Five Sessions per Day
  • Fee: $250

Quick Start! / Refresher Course Dates: June 22 through June 24

  • Five Sessions per Day
  • Fee: $150


Schedule of Sessions

Session Number Check in time Start time End time
Session 1 7:45 8:00 9:15
Session 2 9:15 9:35 10:50
Session 3 FULL 10:50 11:10 12:25
Session 4 FULL 1:10 1:25 2:40
Session 5 2:40 3:00 4:15

Is this appropriate for the applicant?

It’s important to emphasize that this program is built around the premise that participants will learn the skills necessary to ride a traditional two wheel bicycle. This goal is obviously predicated on the assumption that riders are skilled and comfortable with steering, pedaling and keeping their eyes forward. A few students learn all these things during Bike Week, but success is most likely when campers arrive with these fundamental pre-skills.

The nature of Bike Week necessitates that the participant must be:

  • Fully vaccinated according to CDC definitions.
  • Keep a CDC approved mask on at all times, minus breaks.
  • Ambulatory
  • Able to keep their feet on the pedals and maintain pedaling
  • Able to keep their hands on the handlebars and turn
  • Able to see sufficiently to avoid obstacles and maintain a path of travel
  • Willing to follow instructions and motivated to learn to ride
  • Willing to wear a helmet
  • Under 180 pounds (weight restriction for our bikes)

Our experience has shown that behavioral considerations are extremely important—participants may be physically able to ride, but if they cannot be persuaded to get on the bike and follow our instructions, they may not succeed. We have also found that participants 8 and older tend to do better than younger children, but even more important is how motivated each participant is to learn.  There is no maximum age level.

Bike Week is a big commitment on everyone’s part, and though our goal is to have fun, we take our commitment very seriously. Volunteers put in many hours and there is always a waiting list, so being on time is critical and attendance for the full week is mandatory.

If you or the applicant cannot commit to a full week of conscientious participation, please bypass this program for now and wait until you’re ready.

But, if you believe that the time is now, read the "For Parents & Caregivers" section below for more information.

For Families & Caregivers

It's been our experience that most riders do better when their parents/guardians aren't in the gymnasium. Individuals are often more willing to take risks and are more open to novelty when they’re with unfamiliar spotters.

We also recognize that parents and guardians are the ultimate experts on what makes the participant tick. That's one of the reasons we ask you to provide a full-face photo and some information about the applicant's disability, as well as things that motivate her/him. We create files for each participant that our spotters use to familiarize themselves with their assigned rider.

To minimize distractions, parents and guardians are requested to wait outside the gymnasium until it's time for their session. In addition, parents, family, and caregivers are required to stay in the courtyard area of the building or outside of the entrance during their child's session, unless permission is granted by the Clinic Director, Ann Donaca.

On the last several days of Bike First!, parents should come prepared in comfortable clothing and running shoes. We might need you to help run along side your child while the spotter teaches you how to help your child become an independent rider.

Your child must promise to come every day, be on time, and not practice outside of clinic. In addition, they must not take any other camps this week. Their body needs time to process and memorize what they've learned each day.Also, review the Tips for Participants section below with the applicant.

For Participants

Is it hard to ride without your training wheels? Bike riding should be fun and easy, so we’re here to help!

Get ready for a wonderful week with our special bicycles. They ride just like regular bikes, but they rarely tip over. You get lots of practice with leaning and turning.  At least two trained spotters will always be with you, encouraging you to pedal faster and helping you along.

Bike Week is a big commitment

You have to promise to come every day, be on time, and not practice outside of clinic. In addition, you must not take any other camps this week. Your body needs time to memorize what you learn each day.

Talk it over with your parents/caregivers and if you’re not sure, you can always wait until next year. But if you’re ready, we hope you and your parents/caregivers decide to register for our program. If you do, make sure to bring your helmet and wear comfy clothes and tennis shoes. Each day, also bring a filled water bottle. You’ll get a Bike First! tee shirt as soon as you arrive. Every day you’ll earn a new prize. At the end of the week, invite your whole family to our big party, with lunch catered by Boomers Burgers and Ribs, to celebrate your success.

BBQ & Celebration

On Friday of Bike Week, we hold a large celebration complete with awards and recognitions. Participants ride bikes and show off their new skills! Since our start in 2006, Boomers BBQ has provided food for the participants, families, volunteers, and sponsors.

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