Human Powered Health athletes joined forces with Free Bikes 4 Kidz MN in Minneapolis over the Holiday season and helped distribute bikes to children as part of the non-profits 2022 Bike Giveaway.
An award-winning and nationally-recognized brand, Free Bikes 4 Kidz engages community volunteers to sustainably refurbish bikes for kids in need. This provides what they describe as a “pathway to health, happiness and opportunity.”
The two Minneapolis institutions joined forces in a Brooklyn Center warehouse where thousands of children would pass through and get their first set of wheels.
In town for the 2023 kit reveal, Arctic Race of Norway king of the mountains, Stephen Bassett; former US junior women’s national champion, Makayla MacPherson; and Olympic bronze medalist Lily Williams were on-site to help out and see the power of the bike firsthand.
“Seeing the kids choose their bikes and start to ride around was great and brought back memories of getting that first set of wheels and realizing how much fun you could have with it,” said Williams, who provided an extra treat by bringing along her team pursuit Olympic bronze medal.
“A lot of them were already ripping laps around the warehouse,” enthused Bassett. “It was awesome helping the children see the fun and health benefits of cycling.”
Giveaways like this show the positive impact cycling can have on children’s independence, sociability, self-esteem, well-being and environmental engagement.
“It was inspiring to see how thousands of bikes are donated and fixed up in such a short period of time,” said MacPherson. “I saw how everyone worked so hard to make it all happen and I feel extremely fortunate to be able to learn how it all worked.”
The non-profit has set itself the task of giving away one million bikes by 2027. They estimate that this would keep 17,000 tons of metal and 1,300 tons of rubber out of landfills and engage 516,000 volunteers.
“The amount of material that comes in is staggering and makes you think about the amount of waste,” added Williams. “The organization is doing a great job taking what would have gone unused and making it into something sustainable.”
Human Powered Health thanks Free Bikes 4 Kidz MN for the incredible work they do and for being so accommodating to our staff and athletes. Free Bikes 4 Kidz has 17 locations around the country. Visit their site to learn more about their mission and find out how to donate your old bikes so that they can be used by children who would otherwise not have a bicycle.
Here’s a video of Lily riding a child bike to round out the fun.