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River City Students Earn Free Bikes

Four students at River City Scholars Charter Academy worked hard all winter to learn how to build a bike, take care of it, and ride it safely. In May, they were awarded their bicycles to take home courtesy of the Whirlwind Bike Club.

The neighborhood bike club, led by Tom Bulten, sponsored the program a few years ago to help students at River City Scholars Charter Academy learn how to fix their bikes when they break.

"Kids learn best when they're active,” said Bulten. “Oakdale Neighbors' Safe Routes to School program helps kids and families find safe, active ways to get to school by walking or biking. This [bike] program improves student health, boosts learning, reduces traffic congestion, and protects the environment."

The program has taught safe bicycle riding skills at RCS for two years through Whirlwinds Bike Club.”

The bicycle hand off was featured on WZZM 13 news and can be seen here​.

The students must attend a five-week class at the school and participate in weekly bike rides in the spring to be eligible for a free bicycle, lock, helmet, and lights.

Parent Jyonita Abney, whose two daughters earned a bike, is thankful for the program.

“This gives my children an opportunity to have a bike and take care of it,” she said. “They haven’t had a bike for about three years. It will teach them responsibility as they take care of it and have something to do this summer.”

Seventh-grade student Rimiyah Boone enjoyed learning about the mechanics of the bike.

“I found it easy to blow up the tires and learn how to repair it,” she said of the Tuesday afterschool class she attended to earn the bike.

Boone plans to ride her bike home from school everyday and to get ice cream in this summer.

Throughout the year students have opportunities organized by the Oakdale Neighbors to be in bike parades and a bike rodeo.​

Click here​ to see one of the bicycles built by a student.