Friday, September 19, 2014

Now hiring

Our Bike Clubs are bursting at the seams this semester, and we need help!  To find out more and apply to be a Bike Club Leader, click here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Volunteers needed!

Wow, we just get more and more kids in Earn-a-Bike and Bike Club every semester!  We need your help keeping these kids safe on the road and making sure we are doing our very best to empower kids with bikes. 

Bike Club volunteers get the chance to ride bikes with our middle school students, map routes, help advocate for changes to make our community safer (like getting the city to paint over obscene graffiti, thank you!) and make Bike Club a safe, fun place to be after school. 

We will train you on our programs and how to ride safely, but you do need:
  • The ability to ride a bike safely on the street
  • Enthusiasm for empowering adolescents with bikes
  • To pass a background check
  • Time to stick with a group for a semester
  • A positive, flexible attitude for dealing with crazy kids
Volunteer opportunities this semester:

Rosedale Middle School Bike Club: 3:00-5:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays
Central Middle School, 3:00-5:30 p.m., Mondays and Fridays
Boys and Girls Club, 3:00-5:00 Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30 Fridays
Arrowhead Middle School, 3:00-5:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays
All of our Saturday events and bike rides.

To find out more, contact us and we will set up a time to get you up to speed on what these kids are up to!

New trails!

We're back in school, and we have some exciting stuff in store!
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Our newest staff member, Lisa Green, works on a headset with a repeat Bike Club student at RMS.  Scroll down to find out more and see upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Earning bikes and transforming KC

We are officially back to school, fixing bikes, riding bikes and empowering KC kids!

Leaves may not be falling yet, but sweaters are out and kids are hard at work fixing bikes for themselves and others in Earn-a-Bike classes.

There are a bunch of ways to get involved and help us make KC a better place, so check out the events calendar and read up down below.

Welcome to new staff!  We are very excited to have Lisa Green on our team for the 2014-2015 school year! We are still looking for an awesome, motivated individual to recruit and coordinate volunteers this year.

  • Our board is growing, and we would love to have your help.  If you are interested, please contact us for more information.
  •  The Cathedral Gran Fondo is going to be incredible!  Boulevard Brewery and the UMKC History Department are helping us make it happen. Big rides and BBQ are in the pipeline for October 11th!
  • Fall Bike Clubs are ROLLING!  To find out how you can join the club, scroll down or click here.
  • There are tons of chances coming up to make a difference in KC.  Check out the events calendar for weekend rides and community service days.
Bike Club kids are re-drawing the map in KCK.
Levee trail opening next week!

September 20, 2014, 10:00 a.m.

The Unified Government of KCK and the Kaw Drainage Distrcit, along with Healthy Communities Wyandotte, are hosting a grand opening event for the Armourdale Leveel Trail next week!  This is just the beginning of creating a system of trails along KC's urban rivers, so come out and voice your support, learn more about the efforts, and run or walk the trails with us!

FreeWheels for Kids will be riding to the grand opening of the brand-new levee trail next weekend, as well.  To find out more about the rides or to help out contact Ben.  To find out more about the levee grand opening and RSVP, check out the facebook event here.

Cathedral Gran Fondo

October 11th: 10, 30 and 50 mile routes around and through Kansas City's historic churches, mosques and synagogues.

Online registration here, and more information here.

TOMORROW!  Come help us clear trails for Rosedale Middle School!

Volunteer opportunities and upcoming events

Bike Clubs start soon!  Help us empower kids with bikes as a freakin' awesome volunteer!

More events
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Fall Bike Clubs

Why Bike Club?

I grew up on bike trails, first around my neighborhood, then from Shawnee Mission Park to the Kaw River and back again probably hundreds of times. I didn't worry about traffic, no one leaned on the horn behind me, and I didn't have to learn how to ride like a vehicle (and like it's a chore) until I was an adult.
Where FreeWheels works and rides, we face busy "arterial connectors" and KDOT designated highways everywhere we turn, kids regularly live 5 or more miles from their school, and the little green space we have is typically off-limits to kids and families. Some parks or green spaces are only accessible via highway, some are given over to illegal uses and (often rightly) considered too dangerous by parents, some are intentionally isolated by authorities, and some are just plain marked "no trespassing".  The kind of mobility I enjoyed is simply impossible, because the built environment of KCK doesn't allow it. But a built environment can be rebuilt. 
Every single Bike Club has identified great green spaces that they love, green spaces that they can't or won't use, and ideas to make it better.
Bike Club participants are between the ages of 12 and 18, and are not interested in Master Plans, feasibility studies or Requests for Proposals.  They are interested in results. That means that where city planners might see a future bike and pedestrian friendly corridor (or serious obstacles to making a road people-friendly), students see a missing link in today’s transportation network.  Where a city planner sees an “improved” intersection, students see a place where they might be struck with a car on their way to the store after school. Where a city planner might see an “arterial connector” in need of eventual repaving, students see a dangerous, run-down mess in front of their school. 
Bike Clubs in 2013 identified bike lanes and sidewalk improvement on 10th St, which passes in front of schools serving over 1200 students in grades k-8, as major needs.  Now in 2014, sidewalks are in place, and bike lanes are moving as fast as they can through the funding process, thanks to a responsive UG.

Rosedale and Central students teamed up to help ERTA and RDA build 2.5 miles (4.0 soon!) of off-road trail near Rosedale Middle School, and we are working to connect the trails from the school all the way to Rosedale Park and beyond.

We are still working on sidewalk and crossing improvements near Northwest Middle School, motorist education and community policing in the Leavenworth Rd. area, and a north-south off-road connector in Shawnee Heights.

We are very excited to note that there is a small amount of public access to the Kaw Levee, and look forward to pushing for access to more of the public levees in KCK.

Most of all, Bike Clubs are about empowering kids to take leadership roles in their communities. Last year at a County Commission meeting, one student, a 12-year-old Eritrean refugee, actually took the lead in explaining trail-building techniques, erosion control and contour lines to commissioners. The students surveyed a nearby wooded area to build the trails Abdulahi described this Spring, and we hope to be out breaking ground and clearing trash and brush this fall.

My goal for Bike Club is to give kids a chance to define what a safe, healthy community looks like, and then to work with them to make their vision a reality and build great communities. I hope to see you out there helping us make it happen!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Classes

Summer Classes!

These are Earn-a-Bike classes for kids 12 and up.  If your child is younger, we hope to see you at one of our Bike Rodeos or in classes at your child's school.

Rosedale/Central Bike Club
Rainbow Mennonite ChurchEarn-a-Bike:1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 24, Thursday, June 26, Tuesday July 1, Wednesday July 2, Thursday July 3. Bike Club starts July 8, 3:30-6:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sign up form here.

Bethel Bike Club
Starting Friday, June 20
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Fridays only
Sign up form here.

Boys and Girls Club
Starting Tuesday, July 1
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Sign up form here.

For more info, email Javin Martin