DES MOINES, Iowa — The bicycle community is getting larger and younger in Des Moines thanks to a community partnership that is focused on giving back to the kids.
“It’s called bike back to school and we hope kids learn healthy habits like biking to and across the city and navigating the city through active transportation,” said Bobby Kennedy, the operations manager at the Des Moines Street Collective.
A large crowd gathered inside Pioneer Columbus Community rec center for the annual Bike Back to School event on Saturday. The high heat moved the event inside but was originally scheduled for outdoors at Stone Park where the recreation center is located.
Each year the Des Moines Street Collective uses the day to give away 100 bicycles to the first 100 kids in attendance that qualify for free and reduced meals in school. The event was held in partnership with Des Moines Parks and Recreation and the Des Moines Police Department.
Children were able to pick their own bike from a large collection that lined the gymnasium and then it was on to a quick driving course. For many of these kids it’s the first bike they can call their own.
Tauriq Travis is heading into 6th grade and not only does he have a new way to get to class, but it has already opened up a new world for him.
“It is good because now I can ride around to the stores and stuff and see my friends without walking. I can ride a bike,” Travis said.
Blank Children’s Hospital helped provide each new bike owner with a helmet.