Thursday, September 27, 2012

More kids and WyCo's two-wheeled future

The latest class is completely kids from the neighborhood, kids I see jumping off the steps at St. Mary's and who sought out FreeWheels because of their interest in bikes. The best part of FreeWheels is that the long class periods, group rides and (often) small groups means that we really get to know kids and families.  Since the beginning of the year, about 70 kids have completed the Earn-a-Bike program, but that doesn't begin to capture the connections made!

 Even though 70 kids doesn't seem like a huge number, we've given bikes to kids all over the place, and our group rides have begun many times with a "Hey, I didn't know you were in FreeWheels!" as kids from different schools, ethnicities and neighborhoods show up and see their friends from other parts of their lives.

There have been quite a few kids who barely knew how to ride a bike and kids hell-bent on doing "tricks", like this crazy dude.

The thing that ties all these goofballs together is that FreeWheels gave them a place to be while they got comfortable with themselves in that awkward space between childhood and high school.
2013 promises to be even more awesome as we give away hundreds of bikes and cement cycling as a part of life in Kansas City, KS.  Every class is another crop of kids who are empowered by their knowledge of bikes, who know how to fix things they didn't know exited before, and more importantly, feel connected to their community and to the new friends they make at FreeWheels events!

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