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As it set out to do last year, Bike Fort Collins again, in partnership with its peer Wish for Wheels, has a goal to bring a new bike and helmet to every second grader in each of Poudre School District’s six Title 1 schools this fall, and community’s support is needed to make it happen. Each bike, which can last each second grader for up to 3-years of use, has a program cost of $150 and can be funded individually, or in groups of 10 or more. Funding 25 bikes enables an individual, business, or organization to sponsor an entire second-grade class, while a 65-bike commitment funds an entire school.
The two nonprofits, in conjunction with the continued support of the two-program launch sponsors, YourGroupRide.com and VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop are seeking partners to help fund and deliver 400 bikes and helmets so every second grader at Bauder, Irish, Harris, Laurel, Linton, and Putnam Elementary Schools can each receive a bike (which includes a bike and helmet set). Following a build event on October 10th at New Belgium Brewing’s Liquid Center where business sponsors will have the opportunity to take part in assembling the bikes and readying them for delivery to the schools, Bike Fort Collins will coordinate delivery dates for each of the schools with PSD. Parents of second graders at these identified schools who don’t need a bike will be able to opt out and the two nonprofits will be working with PSD’s Department of Language, Culture, and Equity to ensure such bikes get to students in need at other schools within the district.
In addition to business sponsorship support, last year through YourGroupRide.com’s leadership, a Team Challenge was held among area bike teams and clubs to see who could fund the most bikes on a per capita basis. A close race ensued between First City Cycling Team and Team B.O.B., with Team B.O.B. ultimately earning top honors. The same challenge is happening again this year. “It was great to see the bicycle community unite around Wish for Wheels FoCo last year and support the next generation of bicyclists. Many of us started at a young age and can remember that first bike that ignited our passion. We’re excited to bring this program back a second year and hopefully make it an annual event,” said Dan Porter of YourGroupRide.com.
“This program was so well received in its inaugural year by the community, the schools, and, of course, the students, we are excited to bring it back for a second year. Bicycling continues to boom within communities across the country and providing bikes to those who don’t have access to one helps to enable it, and very much aligns with both, the Bike Fort Collins and Wish for Wheels missions,” added Dave Dixon of Bike Fort Collins. “We especially look forward to getting these bikes to kids and then watching them bring the bikes back for the Safe Routes to School programming and instruction that Bike Fort Collins conducts in conjunction with the schools throughout the year,” Dixon continued.
Businesses interested in funding bikes should contact Dave Dixon. The broader community can also support individually by funding bikes at www.bikefortcollins.org/wish-for-wheels-foco. And, to help incent more individual funding, the program launch sponsor, VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop is matching the first $5,000 of funds received from individuals.