It was a great day to be a kid. Through a cooperative effort of Recycled Bikes for Kids, Tour da Delta, the King Biscuit Blues Festival and the Helena-West Helena A&P Commission, 100 local elementary students received bicycles and helmets during a Bike Giveaway held Saturday May 12 at the Arkansas Welcome Center.
The students were chosen by the principals at Barton, KIPP and H-WH schools.
The Bike Giveaway event, held at the Arkansas Welcome Center, was in conjunction with National Tourism Day.
After choosing a bike, the students rode to Freedom Park and back, and then enjoyed a lunch of grilled hot dogs, chips and cupcakes.
“Last year, I took over the Tour da Delta Bike Ride,” said Chris Schaffhauser. “With the help of other, we combined it with the King Biscuit Blues Festival, because we wanted to grow the ride and we did. We doubled the number of riders in the first year.”
Schaffhoauser said, “We decided we wanted to change the mission of Tour da Delta to be about bicycle advancity in the Delta. The money that we raised from the Bike Ride we wanted to put back into the community. We are doing that by putting in Bicycle Repair Stations, one over by the County Courthouse that we donated to the county and the county installed it in the County Square and the other one is over at Freeman Play Ground, that the city installed.”
“I’m also on the Board of Directors of Recycled Bikes for Kids in Little Rock,” said Schaffhoauser. “Our mission is to give away bicycles to children that don’t have one. That’s what we do. We give away about 2,000 bikes per year. We also give bikes to homeless that need them as a way of transportation to get to a job. So we also partner with the House Homeless in Little Rock. We have an Earn a Bike program for the adults. If you need a bike a person can come in and volunteer there warehouse and then they get a bike.”
People don’t even have to be mechanically inclined. They will let people clean, do whatever a person can do, and are willing to do, the program will let them do.
“That’s our mission,” said Schaffhoauser. “We are partnering with Recycled Bikes for Kids to bring bikes down here. Also, I’m a regional project engineering manager for UPS. I managed to get free shipping on the bikes down here from the warehouse yesterday. So, UPS donated time and transportation of the bicycles and brought them down here. That was real nice.”