Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pedal Power

photo: gabriel.jorby 
My most memorable childhood Christmas gift was probably an emerald-green 10-speed bike my parents had to special-order. It wasn't ready in time for Christmas, but the picture they pasted onto red construction paper was enough to set off fits of anticipation. I couldn't wait for the freedom and fun those wheels would provide.

But some kids have to wait a long time for their first bike -- or never get one at all. For those kids, Wilmette (Ill.) teen Nicole Basil started a bike-drive organization at the tender age of 8 called Pedal Power, now in its 6th year. Each fall she collects more than 100 outgrown bikes to give to Chicago Public Schools honor students in grades K through 8. A local bike shop donates tuneup services before the bikes find their new homes, and any seriously challenged two-wheelers are passed on to a school where special needs kids can learn bike repair skills. Let the good times roll!

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