SALT LAKE CITY, UT (BRAIN)—During a sunny spring day last weekend, Bikes for Kids Utah provided 1,000 underprivileged Utah third graders free brand new bicycles, helmets, bike locks and bicycle safety instruction at its third annual charity event.
Saturday's event also included 3K, 50K and 100K fundraising rides in which close to 120 riders helped provide funds for the bicycle giveaway.
"This year's Bikes for Kids event was the best yet," said Debbie Reid, founder and executive director of Bikes for Kids Utah. "The weather was perfect and we had great
support from the community, sponsors, volunteers and the cyclists. The best part of the event was seeing all the kids so excited about getting a bike. Their smiles made it a perfect day."
Throughout the event, held in the parking lot of the Intermountain Medical Center located in Murray, hundreds of Utah third-graders were greeted by more than 125 volunteers (more than double the number of volunteers compared to last year) who helped distribute bikes and accessories.
In a festival like atmosphere, students and their families walked from tent to tent collecting bicycle accessories, were fitted for helmets, and participated in a bicycle
"It was a lot of fun," said Adam Hurst, a third grader from Plymouth Elementary School. "I can't wait to get home and ride my new bike. Thanks Bikes for Kids."
Adam was the honorary wearer of the first ever Bikes for Kids Utah KidCam. The KidCam is a helmet mounted video camera, provided by GoPro, which captured what
it was like to attend the event from the eyes of a child. To see the KidCam video, click on link.
Every half hour one of the 14 pre-qualified third grade elementary classes was welcomed at the event's stage. Kids were asked fun educational questions and those who answered
correctly were given a free bicycle pump provided by SKS-Germany before going to the registration tent.
Also during the event, Canyon Cyclery provided a BMX freestyle show, local sports radio station 1280 The Zone handed out stickers, small footballs and pens to the
children, and Utah Grizzlies hockey team mascot Grizzbee signed autographs and teased kids by pretending to carry away their boxed bike.
During the fundraising rides, cyclists were provided with a number of rest stops, which included Utah Food Service's Belgium Breakfast, Black Bottom's Watering Hole,
La Caille's Brunch in France, Murray Rotary Club's Snack by the Zoo and Tucci's Finish Line Italiana Lunch. One of the cyclists who participated in the 100k ride was five-time Olympic Gold medalist at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, Eric Heiden.
The next Bikes for Kids fundraising event will be a dinner auction at La Caille to be held the evening of Wednesday, September 17, followed by the Bikes For Kids Utah Red and Blue Time Trial on Saturday, September 20. The Red and Blue Time Trial is a continuation of last year's Bikes for Kids Utah/Dave Zabriskie Yield to Life Time Trial. More information about the auction and time trial will be provided soon.