Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on December 11th, 2006 at 2:38 pm
At Legacy Emanuel Hospital yesterday, weeks of hard work paid off when over 400 kids were cured of their longing for a new set of wheels. The Community Cycling Center’s 11th annual Holiday Bike Drive was just what the doctor ordered.
This year, the kids not only got to pick out a new bike, they also learned how to ride it and stay safe while doing so.
Throughout the morning, waves of kids and their parents — who were specially selected through partnering social service agencies — got fitted for free helmets, picked out a new bike, and then went through a series of educational mini-clinics before setting off with their new wheels.
Each child got a “Passport to Ride,” which was a card with a series of six tasks they had to complete before taking home their bike.
At one of the safety stops, kids lined up for the bike safety version of “Pin the tail on the donkey.” They were given bike lights that had velcro on them and then had to stick the light to the appropriate spot on a bike.
Every kid got a free helmet and learned how to make sure it fits. Manning the many boxes of helmets was Trauma nurse Mike Morrison. Mike is the man behind the helmet program administered by Trauma Nurses Talk Tough. He estimates that they give away (or sell for $5) about 10,000 helmets every year and says, “Injury prevention is my form of stress relief.”
After they had completed all their safety stops, each child drew their bike on a thank-you card. The CCC plans to send these cards to people who donated bikes.
It was my first time at the Holiday Bike Drive and I was impressed, not just with the organization and skill of the volunteers and CCC staffers, but with the obvious and tangible impact this event had on the kids and their families.
The CCC will hold another event up in Vancouver this weekend. If you need to restore your faith in the power of bicycles, you might want to head up and check it out.
[Don’t miss the rest of my images in the Holiday Bike Drive photo gallery.]