What is the Ride-A-Bike Program?
Our families have often shared that their children struggle to learn how to ride a bike. One method that often works is to teach kids using a balance bike with no pedals. Once they get the hang of it, switching to a standard bike is much easier. However, balance bikes are expensive and parents are sometimes unable to make the investment without knowing if their child will take to it. For that reason, AZA United has created a simple program in which families can borrow a balance bike at no charge and give it a try. In many cases, their child will learn quickly and be ready for a traditional bike, or at least demonstrate if purchasing their own balance bike will be worth the investment.
Thanks to a generous donation from radio personality Lady La, AZA United now owns a small fleet of Strider balance bikes of all sizes for families to borrow. These special balance bikes give kids the skills and confidence they need to learn to ride. Strider bikes are available for families to borrow for a three-week period of time, at no cost.
Who Participates in the Ride-A-Bike Program?
All families are welcome to participate! We have three sizes of balance bikes to loan: small (ages 2–5), medium (ages 6–10), and large (ages 11+). Three-week loans are free of charge and available to children with autism living in Maricopa County.
The AZA Approach
Learning to ride a bike opens up so many possibilities for kids with autism! It increases independence, gives a sense of accomplishment, promotes physical activity and social abilities, and gives the entire family a new activity they can enjoy and share together.
The three-week Strider bike loan is provided free of charge for families living in Maricopa County. A credit card number will be taken at the time of loan, but it is not charged, as long as the Strider is returned on time and in good condition. There may be a short waitlist for bike availability.
Please contact our Outreach Team at familyoutreach@AZAunited.org or 602-773-5773 for information on how you can sign up to borrow a bike. Once you have confirmed that we have a bike available, please complete these bike loan forms.