Over 350 Kids Receive Free Bikes via Free Bikes 4 Kidz Program

Share   |  Posted Dec. 17, 2010 by Mitch Vars

Free Bikes 4 Kidz
Approximately 370 bikes ready to be picked up

Nice Ride recently teamed up with the Freewheel Bike, Allina Hospitals and Clinics and Free Bikes for Kidz to provide free bikes to kids in need. We put out for people to donate unused or otherwise unwanted bikes in mid-November. Bachman's Flower and Garden Centers throughout the area offered to act as drop-off locations for donated bikes. What we got was an incredible outpouring of generosity. In spite of the often times inclement weather hundreds of bicycles were dropped off at Bachman's each week.

With a ready supply of bikes, next we needed volunteers to clean and repair them. Many people came forward and donated their time to get all the bikes ready for kids in need. All told, over 500 hours of work went in to preparing bikes for the giveaway. Scores of individuals as well as groups from the University of Minnesota, Target Corporation, Wells Fargo and the Major Taylor Cycling Club donated their time and skills.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz
Every bike came with a new helmet

Allina Hospitals and Clinics helped us with coordinating the giveaway. With their help, we were also able to provide brand new helmets to everyone who received a bike. Surprisingly, the giveaway was one of the more difficult parts. We were flooded with emails and phone calls from people needing bikes. Within a couple of days after putting the word out, every bike available was spoken for. We quickly organized a marathon repair session with Freewheel bike, keeping the Midtown Bike Center open late to prepare more bikes to meet the demand. In the end, the need was so great that there were far more requests for bikes than we could accommodate. All told, we were able to provide approximately 370 bikes to kids in need.

The giveaway was scheduled for Saturday, December 11, at the Midtown Global Market. Hundreds of bikes were lined up in the hallway on Friday night as the snow began to fall. By Saturday morning there was a full blown blizzard outside. Streets were nearly impassable by the start of the giveaway at 9:00am. In spite of the weather, people started showing up to get their bikes.

About 175 bikes were given away during the storm on Saturday. Many recipients made their way home by placing their new bikes on the racks on Metro Transit buses. By late afternoon, the buses had quit running, still, people made their way home pushing bikes through knee deep snow. A second giveaway was held on the following Wednesday when the remaining bikes and helmets were distributed.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz
17 inches of snow fell on the day of the give away

None of this would have been possible without the generous donation of bikes throughout the metro area, the help and support of all of our volunteers and the organizations that partnered with us. Thanks to all of you for making next year's cycling season something for local kids to look forward to.

Special thanks to:
Free Bike 4 Kidz
G-Force Cycling Club of Orono
Otten Brothers Nursery
Bachman's Flower and Garden Centers
Allina Hospitals and Clinics
Freewheel Bike
Quality Bike Products
Park Tool
Sibley Bike Depot
Excelcycle

1 Previous comment:

(1) On October 25, 2011, jody chapman () said:
can u please tell me where to appy for these bikes i have a 5 yr old who has never had her own bike and a 11 yr old son who doesnt own his own bike but wishes he had one

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