Celebrating Third Annual Bike Day
On a sunny Wednesday, the children and staff of the Children’s Residential Program (CRP) geared up to host their third annual Bike Day on the Long Beach Boardwalk.
Sean Stallings, CRP Director, and Casandra “Cassie” Bradshaw, Johnson Place Manager, started the bike rides as a relief from being stuck inside for extended periods during the pandemic. It also served as a great team-building activity that everyone enjoyed.
The day hosts two rides to ensure that everyone involved, including family and friends, can participate. The staff rides during the day when the children are in school, then again in the afternoon, so that the children can also take part in the activity.
According to James Robinson, Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS), “Bike Day is a great way for staff to bond and get to know each other. Maintenance, housekeeping, DSPs, and managers come together, and it’s very positive.”
This year, CRP staff gathered at Lido Beach to take an energetic ride to the Long Beach Boardwalk.
According to Cassie, the first year had a rocky start.
“We didn’t have enough bikes, so some people who wanted to participate couldn’t. Another person got a flat and didn’t have a para tube. It was a mess, but we made it work and even got Marvel’s ice cream. We made friends, and it helped us work together better.”
From then on, bike rides have evolved into a regular practice for CRP students and staff. Some of the most frequent riders are Max Berman and Tyler Leung, who have been a part of the CRP since 2022. The pair love riding their bikes so much that they head out nearly every day that the weather permits.
When staff members ask who would like to go for a ride, they are among the first jump up and head for the door.
There are several types of bikes to help meet the needs of children. They have tandem bikes, and adult tricycles which staff use to assist students, typically standing beside them to help with balance and coordination.
Having multiple bikes available has made it easier for staff to take the children out for rides periodically. The CRP empowers children to make their own decisions. Those who opted out were able to choose an alternative activity for the day. Also, for children who don’t yet know how to ride bikes, program leadership is looking for ways to offer riding classes.