“You guys make riding bikes fun!” one of the students at HB Lee Middle told me as we came to a stop. “Bikes ARE fun, we’re just bring them and make it safe to ride them!” I replied, but I got his point—it’s great and empowering to learn you can incorporate riding bikes into your day-to-day experience. As countless studies show, too, riding or walking to school is a great way to get your brain and body ready for a day of learning, and an amazing healthy habit to start.
There are many amazing parts of this job, but easily the best part is setting up kids with their new-to-them bikes. On Saturday we were able to get six middle schoolers at HB Lee set up with bikes as part of a full commuter package, in partnership with the Street Trust, the City of Gresham, and the SUN School program that set up the mini grant event.
These bikes represent the generosity of our donors, and the diligence of the volunteers who tuned and polished them up—but giving bikes to kids involves a lot more than just dropping off bikes and leaving. This wouldn’t have happened without the educational experience provided by SUN Schools and the Street Trust, and the City of Gresham for making it all happen, including new helmets for all the students involved.
Bikes for Humanity staff and volunteers supported the Street Trust during 4 days of bike safety education (BSE) this August in the Reynolds District. The Street Trust brought their fleet to Reynolds and HB Lee and led four groups through a morning of their BSE curriculum. Starting with getting everybody comfortable on a bike (or even learning to ride that day!), and ending with a community ride to the park and back, these kids gained a basic mastery of navigating safely through their neighborhood.
We were super excited to connect with Caty from the SUN school program who hosted us at the school, and get the most enthusiastic participants on bikes when school started again—and more excited to see them all again! Thanks to all our partners for providing the education, community, helmets, and locks so we could show up with bikes and bells and set up these young commuters!