Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bike Giveaway : This Saturday 12/9

The massive Mark Twain Elementary bicycle hoo-ha is set to take place from 9am until 12pm. Two hundred bikes will be distributed at three locations: Twain, Lake Ridge, and Broadway Neighborhood Center. It sounds like they will mostly need help making sure kids get the right size bike as well as a properly fitting helmet.

They will need all the help they can get. If you are willing/able, please, let me know here under Comments or via email.


jen b. said...

Hey Cody,
I can help out with the bike give away. Or I'd be happy to staff the BL if you need someone to be there. E-mail me with details; I'll go wherever I'm needed :-)

Mark Wyatt said...


I have some time open on my sked. E-mail the details.

Mark Wyatt

Cody G. said...

I've already emailed the folks above, but I'd like to put more details here in case of any last minute joiners.

Anyone who wants to help can just show up at Mark Twain Elementary (not far from the Sycamore Mall) at 9am. Actually if you're there any time between 9 and 12, that would still be very helpful.

My understanding is that we'll simply help kids find the right size bike. Typically if a child can sit on the saddle and both feet are flat on the ground with straight legs, that is an appropriate fit. It's also good to check their reach to the handlebars. If they lean forward too much to reach, it may make it difficult to balance.

So far we have 5 volunteers to help. It would be nice to have a couple more!

Cody G. said...

The giveaway was very well attended by volunteers, and that made the morning smooth. Although I have some criticisms for Saturday's event, I know there are a lot of kids who will use these bikes as long as they can.

My criticisms mostly have to do with taking actions that are truly beneficial to the community. The bikes were purchased at Wal-Mart (big no-no in my book of activism), and no inquiry was done to find out if all of the receiving kids even needed/wanted a new bicycle (despite some parents even trying to refuse the gift who were then told to "go ahead and take the bike, and pass it along to someone else who might need one.") While I do believe a lot of good was done that day, I think the very generous $10,000 raised for the event could have done even more good.

Shopping locally (we have three locally owned bike shops in IC!) is better for everybody. Creating situations in which the helped can also help the helpers (or, in this case, giving gifts according to the receiver instead of the giver) is another way to be more involved in the community.

New Life Church wanted to give back to the community, and church members decided this bike giveaway was the best way to do that. Their intentions were good (and genuine), but we all need to be careful with our own good intentions.

That said, I have no doubt there are kids in this town who will be positively affected by their new bikes for a long time.

Thanks again to the five volunteers from the Bike Library, the IBC, and the Atlas Cycling Team who helped last Saturday.