Bikes for the Community
- on April 5, 2016
Lawrence Unchained and the Full Circle Youth Program at the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority have teamed up to provide over 30 low income youth with bicycles. Youth range in age from seven to seventeen and use their new bicycles for everything from recreation to riding to school. In order to earn their new bikes, youth complete a training and safety course provided by Full Circle staff and Lawrence Unchained volunteers, most of who are trained League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors. Youth have received their bicycles during three Bike Rodeos held over the past year.
The latest Bike Rodeo was held Tuesday, March 15th. Twelve youth and several parents spent a beautiful, spring break morning learning about helmets and bike safety, bike fit, parking/locking and bike responsibility, handling and riding, rules of cycling and how to ride safely. Youth were also provided bike helmets, locks and lights to encourage responsible ownership and safety. Youth practiced drills in a parking lot at Edgewood Park and then took a bike ride either around the Edgewood neighborhood or down the Burroughs Creek Trail depending on their age. Past rodeos have included rides to Central Middle School and New York Elementary. Youth learned a safe and accessible route to school they can utilize throughout the school year. Parents were invited to a luncheon held at the Huppee Community Facility where their youth shared what they had learned. Parents were also given informational sheets over the curriculum covered during the day and provided maps of routes their youth may utilize when riding to school. Lunch was generously donated by Yello Sub.
This program was made possible through grants from LiveWell Community Wellness Fund and the Douglas County Community Foundation. These funds have also allowed for the creation of the Full Circle Wrenching Crew. In a small group and one-on-one settings, youth are instructed on bicycle maintenance and repair. The trained “wrenches” then assist staff and their peers with minor repairs, prolonging the life of bicycles throughout the neighborhood and preventing bikes from ending up in dumpsters. Tools are provided to youth participating in the program. Full Circle youth and staff would like to thank their partners and donors: the Lawrence Re-Cyclery for assistance acquiring helmets and Lawrence Unchained and their volunteers, who spent hours fixing the refurbished bicycles that youth received.