“Mad About Bikes” Kicks Off With the Annual Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison Bike Collection Day on Saturday, Jan. 13
Madison Community Foundation grant helps new nonprofit donate 1,000 refurbished bikes to area youth
Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison (FB4K) will collect gently used bikes on Saturday, January 13, 2018, as the first phase of a series of “Mad About Bikes” grants from Madison Community Foundation. The bikes will be donated to 1,000 area youth later this spring.
Mad About Bikes is the eighth of twelve major grants from Madison Community Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Year of Giving. Madison Community Foundation awarded $25,000 to Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison for the 1,000-bicycle giveaway and $59,200 to Wisconsin Bike Fed to fund new public fix-it stations, multiple bike repair internships for community youth, starter bicycles for beginning riders, and safety education and repair training for riders of all ages.
Area residents can donate gently used bikes at the following SSM Health Dean Medical Group locations from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
East – 1821 S. Stoughton Rd., Madison
West – 752 N High Point Rd., Madison
Fish Hatchery – 1313 Fish Hatchery Rd., Madison
Oregon – 753 N. Main St. Oregon
Waunakee – 1300 S. Century Ave., Waunakee
Sun Prairie – 10 Tower Dr., Sun Prairie
SSM Wisconsin Regional Office – 1818 W. Beltline Hwy., Madison
Volunteer cleaners, preppers and mechanics will refurbish the bikes to make them safe and reliable, and then give them away through a network of area community organizations on Saturday, March 24. Individuals and groups can sign up to volunteer at fb4kmadison.org.
“Free Bikes 4 Kidz believes that every kid that wants a bike, can have a bike,” said FB4K Madison Executive Director Andy Quandt. “So many of us have bicycles in our garages collecting dust while others simply want a safe bike to ride. The FB4K program creates a workspace for community volunteers to come together to refurbish these bikes to give back to our kids a few months later. It all starts by collecting as many bikes as we possibly can in one location. It’s really amazing to watch how one dusty old bike, with a little bit of love, can easily turn into a smile and even change a life.”
“Mad About Bikes will provide access for all riders, regardless of economic status, and help them take advantage of Madison’s Platinum-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community,” said Tom Linfield, Madison Community Foundation Vice President of Community Impact. “Donating a bike on January 13 or volunteering to refurbish and give away the bikes are easy and wonderful ways to give back to our community.”
The Wisconsin Bike Fed will be supporting the addition of these bikes to our community as well as the ones already being loved and used with many by facilitating a community-wide effort to increase access to bikes, bike safety education and repair training for families. Highlights include mobile bike repair stations, ongoing bike maintenance, bike repair internships, establishment of a Mobile Bike Hub—an electric-assist bicycle outfitted as a repair vehicle, bicycle storage solutions, and encouragement opportunities. Collaborating partners Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison, Healthy Kids Collaborative at American Family Children’s Hospital, Madison’s Community Schools Leopold Elementary and Mendota Elementary, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Wheels for Winners, Dream Bikes, Tri 4 Schools, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board, and the city of Madison.
“The Bike Fed is thrilled to partner with great organizations throughout Dane County, working to increase ridership among diverse communities,” said Dave Cieslewicz. “We know that simply having a bike does not mean that children will ride. Family engagement, comfort with skill and safety, and having a fun place to ride are all key components of creating fun, family bike rides. We’re excited to make this happen for all our families.”