Energizing Local Youth
Bikes for the World celebrated World Bicycle Day a day early this year in order to give back to our community here at home. We spend so much time and energy delivering bikes across the world EVERY DAY that we decided to focus THIS day on donating bikes to kids in our backyard.
This year the 2nd Annual Chocolate City Community Ride took place on June 2, the day before World Bicycle Day. Hosted this year by Major Knox Adventures, this was our second year participating in this local event to promote cycling in historically underrepresented communities. The event brought together bike organizations and community leaders to encourage healthy activities for youth and families to enjoy.
Kids who live in wards 5, 7, and 8 were invited to sign up in advance for a free bicycle during this give away. Bikes for the World picked out and tuned up 50 bicycles to be donated before the group ride taking place out of Anacostia Park. All parents had to do was show up with their kids and they could pick out a bike to keep. Kids were offered helmets and took part in a skills and handling course set up in the parking lot. Everyone was then led into the streets of Anacostia by a lively Go-Go Band on a flat bed truck bringing smiles and dancing to residents lined up along the streets.
One mother was so excited for her son who was the first one in line and had his choice of bikes. He chose a Tony Hawk BMX bike. He recognized the name and couldn't wait to give it a spin around the parking lot. Many of the bike donations went to multiple family members. Two young brothers were both fitted with their first bikes. A younger brother received a bike alongside his older sister and followed her around the skate park excited to be keeping up with her as she rounded the corners.
For several kids, this was their first time on a bike (at least without training wheels) and some had to be shown what a hand brake could do. For many of the bike recipients they had never been properly fitted on a bike before. With help from other volunteers from bike organizations like WABA, kids were fitted with the best matched bike as we worked to adjust seats and handlebars to give them the safest, most comfortable rides.
Many of the bikes donated on June 2 came into our program through Trek's Trade-In program where parents can get a good deal on a bigger bike as their kids out grow their old ones. We were proud to reintroduce these bikes to kids in the city, hoping to bring a new healthy activity to them that they can enjoy as a family. We also donated two brand new bikes donated through local company Xylem, who built the bikes as a team building exercise at their office in SE DC.