Swap Success Supports Youth Programs

More than 500 people left the bike swap at Riverside High School Gymnasium with great deals.

Who left with this minty green vintage Schwinn Stingray?

The 7th Annual Milwaukee Bike Swap raised over $6,000 for the Bike Fed’s Valid Bike Shop at North Division High School and the wellness programs at Riverside University High School. Thanks to the more than 500 people who found great deals at the swap and to all the vendors who sold out our 64 tables again!

The proceeds from the Milwaukee Swap directly fund our Valid Bike Shop, where the kids who work there learn job readiness skills while they can earn a bike of their own by helping to maintain the fleet of 150 bicycles we rely on to implement our Safe Routes to School and Summer Bike Camp programs.

DreamBikes had this cool Gary Fisher kids bike for sale. Notice the carbon fork and Bontrager wheels? Sweet!

Through our Safe Routes classes and bike camps, every year more than 2,400 kids learn how to safely and legally get around Milwaukee on bicycles. At the Bike Fed, we believe the bicycle can be a simple, inexpensive solution to many complicated societal problems. We have all read headlines recently about how Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation for African-American children in terms of poverty, education and health. We are very proud of how our Milwaukee youth programs help kids in school and out.

AJ and I help neighborhood kids learn to fix their bikes at one of the open shop hours at our Valid Bike Shop.

Attendance is always up when we are teaching our Safe Routes classes, and the Valid Shop also gives kids another reason to like coming to school. While our programs include in-class skills like writing, math and map reading that are designed around the Common Core, the freedom and responsibility that these kids learn riding a bicycle is what we are most proud of. I love seeing the smile on a kids face when they learn to ride a bike for the first time or realize that they got themselves to Lake Michigan safely and under their own power! Broadening those horizons for children who may have never ridden on a bike trail before is what keeps a smile on my face when I am working extra hours on weekends like this.

Thanks again to Riverside University High School and Milwaukee Recreation for hosting the Milwaukee Swap Meet again and to all the vendors and shoppers who made this another great event. I almost can’t wait until next year.

 

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