Earlier this fall, Bike Fort Collins announced a joint effort with fellow nonprofit and Denver-based, Wish for Wheels to bring a new bike and helmet to every second-grader in each of Poudre School District’s (PSD) six Title 1 schools. Called Wish for Wheels FoCo, together with founding program launch sponsors, YourGroupRide.com and VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop we sought partners to help fund and deliver 400 bikes and helmets so every second-grader at Bauder, Irish, Harris, Laurel, Linton and Putnam Elementary Schools could each receive a bike and helmet set.

Through the generous support of additional program sponsors/organization supporters: VanMevern Law Group, HP, Inc., the VF Foundation, Foothills Mall, School of Rock, Westminster Presbyterian Church and the First City Cylcing Team, as well as many generous individual donors, we funded nearly 260 bikes/helmets—totaling nearly $40,000. The Fort Collins area cycling team/club community held their own contest to see who could raise the most money on a per capita basis relative to each team/club’s size—and Team BOB (“Babes on Bikes”) took home the prize–mostly bragging rights.

Following an event on October 10th at Foothills Mall where volunteers from the aforementioned sponsors and cycling club/teams took part in assembling the bikes and readying them for delivery to the schools, we worked with PSD’s Department of Language Culture & Equity to help coordinate distribution of the bikes. Absent of the pandemic, we would have scheduled a day to deliver the bikes and meet with each student to make sure their bike and helmet fit properly, while also engaging them in some safety reminders from our Safe Routes to School curriculum. Unfortunately given all the district’s COVID-19 protocols, we were able to deliver all the bikes on November 8th, but to little fanfare. Most of the recipient schools then handed out the bikes on Friday November 10th while following strict social distancing and mask wearing. Bike Fort Collins was able to attend several of the schools to watch some of the students receive their bikes.

We are also so appreciative and grateful to see how thankful the students have been, having received many thank you notes like the ones below.

Given how well received this was in it’s first year, we’re already planning for next year. Leave a comment below, or email us at info@bikefortcollins.org if you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring bikes next year.

WHAT DO 250+ BIKES FOR 2ND-GRADERS LOOK LIKE?