Bike Fort Collins has joined forces with fellow nonprofit, Wish For Wheels with a goal to bring a new bike and helmet to every second-grader in each of Poudre School District’s (PSD) six Title 1 schools this fall. Now they need community’s support to make that goal a reality.

The two nonprofits, in conjunction with other local initiators and 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 an event on October 10th at Foothills Mall where business sponsors will have the opportunity to take part in assembling the bikes and readying them for delivery to the schools. Parents of second-graders at these identified schools who don’t need a bike will be able to opt-out and the two nonprofits are 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. 

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 a business or organization to sponsor an entire second grade class, while a 65 bike commitment funds an entire school. VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop has committed to a challenge/matching grant up to the first $10,000 raised.

“These types of programs have shown to not only improved attention spans, grades and reduced truancy, but the bikes also become a built in form of transportation for students, as well,” said Brad Appel of Wish For Wheels. “Since the pandemic, children have lost the in-person outlet, source of support and connectivity that going to school provided,” Appel continued, “while screen time among students is subsequently up 60% or at 11.2 hours per day. And, only 1 in 5 kids is currently getting the daily recommended amount of exercise. Now more than ever kids need a physical activity that is socially distant, community-focused and can include their families.”

Dave Dixon of Bike Fort Collins adds, “With participation in bicycling up as much as 100+ percent in some places within the city and region, bikes are a fun, yet functional activity—and second grade is a great time to encourage bicycling to help ensure it becomes a habit and a passion for them going forward. We’re excited to partner with Wish For Wheels on such a great program,” added Dixon. “This is a great addition to all the work we already do in delivering all the Safe Routes to School programming within the school district. It will be great to see all these second-graders participate on these bikes after the pandemic at future Safe Routes to School programming sessions when they’re in third and even fourth grade.”

Interested business sponsors should contact Dixon or Appel. Otherwise, the community can support individually by funding bikes at www.bikefortcollins.org/wish-for-wheels-foco

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About Bike Fort Collins

Located in one of the most bike friendly cities in the country, Bike Fort Collins (BFC) is a growing bicycle advocacy and active transportation 501(c)(3), delivering on four primary programs, as well as a number of other advocacy initiatives and events. These primary programs include: Safe Routes to School (a partnership with the City of Fort Collins to deliver bike safety education to Poudre School District students), the Bicycle Friendly Business Network, support of Fort Collins Bike Share program, and its Active Living initiative to promote inclusion and access to active transportation in marginalized and distressed communities in Northern Colorado. To learn more, visit www.bikefortcollins.org, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

About Wish For Wheels

Based in Denver, Wish for Wheels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that gives brand new bicycles and helmets to kids in low income communities. Founded in 2004, their first giveaway made it clear that the bikes bring health and happiness into kids’ lives. Their unique model bundles corporate philanthropy, team building, and employee engagements through bike build/assembly events, to deliver brand new bikes to kids in the community. To learn more, visit www.wishforwheels.org.  

About VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop

Velofix is a premium, full-service mobile bike shop that comes directly to your home or workplace to service your bike out of their customized and stocked Mercedes Sprinter vans. Their highly-skilled mechanics love working with bicyclists of all experience levels, from beginners to longtime enthusiasts and even multiple-time world champions. They love being involved in our community and believe that building personal relationships with their clients helps them to provide not only an exceptional experience, but also the best possible service for their bikes. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit www.velofix.com, or follow them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

About YourGroupRide.com

YourGroupRide.com (aka YGR) is a cycling news website based in Fort Collins, CO that unites the Northern Colorado cycling scene by keeping riders informed about the latest news, rides, races and other events. YGR conducts local rider interviews, local cyclist bike reviews and other features such as 10 Tracks and Gear Reviews. Behind the scenes, they work with Bike Fort Collins, Overland Mountain Bike Association and FC Moves/FC Bikes on advocacy initiatives to make Fort Collins an even better and safer place to ride. With the support of local businesses, they’ve been covering the NoCo cycling scene since 2009. Visit www.yourgroupride.com, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.