Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison (FB4K) is now in its fourth year in the Madison community and has donated over 3,000 refurbished bicycles to kids and families within the local community. Planet Bike has been involved with FB4K in Madison since the first year, from bike lock product donations, to volunteer hours in collecting, refurbishing and giving bikes away.
This marked our third consecutive year we took an afternoon for an all staff volunteer day. The process for refurbishing bikes is broken down into three stations. The first station is to give each bike a thorough cleaning to get any dirt and grime off the bikes. The second station involves some light mechanical check-up which includes, greasing the chain, making sure the seat post can be removed and greased, the wheels spin and brakes are tuned-up. The third and final check up is a full run through of the shifting, truing wheels and making sure the bike is fully functioning by a professional mechanic so the bike is ready to ride when the new owner receives it.
The past few years we have primarily focused on the bike cleaning stage of the process. This year we had a few extra young helpers who are kids of Planet Bike staff members. Seeing kids get excited over helping other kids is always something special. Armed with the few extra hands, we divided up and spread out to different stations more than we have in the past. A few of us cleaning bikes and a few of us taking on the more advanced step of going through the mechanics of the bikes. Staff volunteer days are great team building exercise by getting us out of the office and all working toward a common goal, which on this occasion was fixing bikes for a good cause.
This year FB4K Madison has a goal of giving away 1,500 bikes. If you’re local to Madison and want to volunteer you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you want to find out if there is a Free Bikes 4 Kidz chapter in your local community you can visit www.fb4k.org