Fulton volunteer group teaching people to ride bikes every Monday morning this summer [www.newstribune.com]

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Helmets on and ready to roll, five young bike riders gathered Monday morning outside 54 Country in Fulton to learn to pedal.

An hour and a half later, the learners left with more confidence and no skinned knees.

Rider Kambree Vandloecht, 9, was a bit hesitant to climb on the bike — her last attempt ended in a tumble. But Monday, Vandloecht wasn't alone — she had the support of volunteer spotters.

The free riding practice is the project of Nancy Hanson, host of the annual iCan Bike Camp.

Hanson usually organizes the annual program aimed at helping people with disabilities learn to ride a bike and gain independence in June — this year, she had to cancel.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanson didn't want to risk the health of any riders or volunteers. However, she also didn't want to let a summer go by without the chance to help children who want to learn. Instead, she started hosting bike-riding sessions in May.

Hanson and volunteers will be stationed outside 54 Country, 400 Gaylord Drive in Fulton, from 9-10:30 a.m. every Monday.

MoBikeFed comment: A surprising number of kids--and adults--never have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bicycle.

If you've taught a bicycle rodeo for kids in the 8-12 age group, you know that often 50% or more will show up not knowing how to ride a bicycle at all.

So programs that help people get over that first learning curve of, how to I start and stop and balance and steer a bike are very much needed.

And groups like these volunteers in Fulton--and iCan Bike--are providing a great service just by providing the skills and support needed for people of all ages to get started riding.

Kudos to them!

More about the iCan Bike program: https://icanshine.org/programs/