Doing Good | Free Bikes 4 Kidz | SantaFe.com
Boy on bicycle

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a new local program designed to promote healthier lifestyle and transport options by giving away 500 refurbished bicycles to local kids and families.

Studies show that in just northern New Mexico, many hundreds of bicycles are outgrown by children and left to gather dust in garages and back yards. At the same time, a large number of economically disadvantaged children never have the opportunity to own a bike. By pulling together a broad range of resources from the local cycling community, the Free Bikes 4 Kidz (CF4K) program aims to close that loop and get kids who need bikes riding frequently and safely.

Bicycle retailers in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Los Alamos have already started collecting dozens of donated bikes, leading up to grand drive-through celebratory weekend collection at several locations on April 9, 10, and 11.

FB4K will then unleash an army of volunteer bike mechanics to clean and fix donated bikes to return them to a street safe condition. Selected school programs, churches, and youth advocacy groups will then take on the responsibility of distributing the bikes to their members. Many recipients will be required to undertake further safety or bicycle maintenance training. All recipients will also receive a new bike helmet.

“Research shows us that putting kids on bikes not only impacts their health in a positive way, but also improves psychological wellbeing and inspires confidence,” said Preston Martin, chairman of the FB4K-NM board. Free Bikes 4 Kidz primarily measures its success by the number of kids who receive bikes. “But you really can’t put a figure on the number of smiles delivered,” he adds.

As a successful national organization, FB4K has already given away more than 100,000 refurbished bikes across the country. The local initiative is being driven by Bicycle Technologies Incorporated (BTI), a national bike parts distributor based in Santa Fe. Other local groups involved in collecting, repairing, and distributing bikes for 2021 are Bike Santa Fe, Communities in Schools (Santa Fe/Rio Arriba County), El Camino Real Academy (Santa Fe Public Schools), Silver Stallion (serving Gallup and the Navajo Nation), Field institute of Taos (Taos), Catholic Charities Center for Refugees (Albuquerque), Chainbreaker Collective (Santa Fe), and Pueblo de Cochiti Community Health Program (Pueblo de Cochiti).

The schedule for the three COVID-19 safe drive-through bike collection days is:

Friday, April 9, 2 – 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 10, 9 a.m. – noon: Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road, Los Alamos

Saturday, April 10, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.:

  • Balloon Fiesta Park, 4401 Alameda Blvd. NE, Albuquerque
  • Sport Systems, 6915 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuquerque

Sunday, April 11, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Bicycle Technologies International, 33 Velocity Way, Santa Fe

FB4K-NM will accept used kid’s or adult’s bicycles, tricycles, balance bikes, and bike accessories at these events.

If you can’t make it to a drive-through drop-off event, retailers in all three communities are accepting donations in March and April. In Albuquerque, Sport Systems, BikeworksABQ, Sandia Cycles, Fat Tire Cycles, and Two Wheel Drive are accepting donations. Bicycle retailers in Santa Fe currently accepting bikes include Rob and Charlie’s, Broken Spoke, Mellow Velo, Sincere Cycles, and BTI. In Los Alamos, drop off bikes at Beanies Bike Shop.

For the latest details and all the regional drop off points, go to fb4knm.org

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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