Update 11/29—Our hearts are full of gratitude for the outpouring of support from generous friends, businesses, community members and caring citizens. We did not find our bikes or trailer, but we did find a vein of empathy that shows how much people care about our mission and about the children of Minneapolis. Thank You.
Update! Our Bike Fleet and trailer were stolen Thursday (11/19) night. Thanks for supporting our replacement efforts.
Kids. Bikes. Going Places.
Pedal Power, one of the first and arguably the best school-based biking program around, is looking forward to another year of pedaling around Minneapolis but needs your help. We're now working toward a goal of $50,000 to keep kids biking, learning and exploring our neighborhood and City. We are excited to be working toward expanding school-based bike education to additional school communities, and reaching students during a time when outdoor activity and safely distanced social interactions are needed more than ever. Funding is used toward:
• Bike repair, replacement and maintenance
• Helmets for all 4th & 5th graders—Each student rides with their own helmet
• Inclusivity—Tandems, adaptive bikes and support staff allow all students to participate
• Training a team of Junior (student) coaches to take on leadership roles throughout the year
• High visibility hoodies, t-shirts, and reflective vests
• The work of the teachers, which is largely unpaid and in addition to regular duties
• Supplies and equipment including sanitizer and reusable masks to ensure best safety practices, following all state and local protocol during COVID-19 restrictions
Seven years ago, two veteran teachers were stunned to realize that about half of the 4th and 5th grade students at their Northeast Minneapolis school did not know how to ride a bike. EL Teacher, Mark Trumper and Art teacher, Susan Tuck decided in that moment to work toward changing those numbers—one bike and one new rider at a time. Dozens of small grants funded a growing bike fleet, volunteers were recruited to teach kids how to balance, pedal and shift gears. Trumper and Tuck volunteered hundreds of hours to bring biking to a school where almost all of the students are on subsidized lunch programs and more than half do not speak English at home.
Learn to Bike. Bike to Learn
Pedal Power has created a model for 4th and 5th grade classes to go out for weekly rides with their teachers, to use bikes instead of buses for field trips when possible, and to ride year-round with an after-school group to locations all over Minneapolis. Students study science, history, art and more—then they bike to locations for hands-on learning experiences. They develop a strong connection with their neighborhood and build confidence, persistence, and grit. Their safety green shirts and hoodies bring smiles and waves from neighbors and fellow cyclists along the way.
Students have led rides during the Winter Cycling Congress, presented at the Youth Bike Summit, used their mechanical skills helping out at FreeBikes4Kids (FB4K) work sessions, and learned about much more than just riding bikes and navigating the City. Pedal Power has been recognized with Awards from the City of Minneapolis, Bike MN, and Our Streets Minneapolis, and been featured by People for Bikes, several local news stations, and is helping to shape the growing demand for universal bike education in Minneapolis. We look forward to returning to a more normal post COVID model, and are developing strategies to work through the current challenges and limitations in place.
Donate now to help keep Pedal Power moving forward!
Mark Trumper and Susan Tuck