Canadian Cyclist


July 23/03 6:28 am - Bikes Stolen from Riders Ready BMX

Posted by Editoress on 07/23/03

Riders Ready BMX Bikes Stolen
Courtesy OCA

As of July 21, 2003 Riders Ready BMX is on an indefinite hold. Here's why: Some "wonderful people" (that's not the words I really want to use) decided that these special needs kids did not have enough to deal with in their lives and STOLE 19 OF OUR BIKES.

Yep, that's right, a professional job was done and the secured, alarmed trailer was broken into by idiots wearing gloves and armed with crowbars and bolt cutters and stole 19 bikes. Now we have no bikes for our kids.

Over 25 kids now have their only recreational program stolen from them. How do you tell a child that only wants to have fun and ride a bmx bike with their friends that they can't do it anymore. Some of these families cannot afford to buy a bike for their kids and they relied on this program as both a physical and social scene for their children.

Until we can replace the 19 bikes that were stolen these kids have no program. The police have done a complete crime scene investigation but as we all know, these bikes just "disappear" once they are stolen. . They stole 4 helmets as well, but left 16 behind, so at least we have helmets. I thank you for all of your assistance with the program thus far and hope that we will be up and running very soon. I will keep you posted. Thanks from a very p'd off person. Nicky Pearson Riders Ready BMX

Info on Riders Ready BMX

The Riders Ready program started in 2000 with funding from the Trillium Foundation of Ontario. The program is geared towards community members with mental and physical limitations and low-income classifications. Our instructors are experienced BMX riders aged 8-47 who donate their time to teaching these special young people. In our inaugural year we successfully graduated 15 children. These children have designations such as Autism Spectrum Disorder; Tourettes; Asperger's Syndrome; Downs Syndrome; learning disabilities and low income.

This program was such a success that it was presented to British Columbia and Alberta in November. The plan is to launch out West in 2004 and across the province in May 2003. Currently participants travel from Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Barrie and Milton.

We never realized the implications of what we had started. We expected 7-10 kids just coming out to have fun, but we have had to turn kids away due to lack of bikes and equipment. The kids that did complete the program are earning respect from their peers, they are proud of their trophies no matter what placing, they give each other high fives at the finish line, they cheer each other on while on the track, they egg each other on at the gate and they smile the whole time they are racing.

We are all learning from these special children, learning patience, understanding, respect and we realize the courage that it has taken for some of them to come this far. We received a thank you card from Andrew S. one of the participants in it he wrote :thank you for believing in me when I did not believe in myself". All this young man needed was someone to believe in him and all of our instructors helped him to do that.

What impresses me the most is that the regular racers at the track share their Pokemon cards or Gameboys at break time. No one looks at the Riders Ready kids as anything but BMX racers. They have become part of our BMX family.


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