Aug 9, 2014 7:59 PM by Kelsey Kennedy
It's the first of its kind in Colorado Springs. A new bicycle library has just been installed at Meadows Park.
It's the first of three bike libraries in Colorado Springs. The Hillside and Deerfield Community Centers are next to get them next Spring with grant money from Kaiser Permanente. The city and the Kids on Bikes Program are teaming up to let kids check out a pair of wheels.
"Kids in the neighborhood will come by for about four hours worth of education, practice, and training before the bike is handed to them," says Daniel Byrd, the Program Director for Kids on Bikes. "They'll get that bike for about a month's period of time."
Kids will come back every month to continue learning, including things like how to check tire pressure and use hand signals. The library will be open certain times and after school each week, but it doesn't have to be open for neighborhood kids to bring their bikes by for a tune up.
"Kids are going to be able to go out, have fun and take ownership of something," Byrd says. "I think as a community, they'll take ownership of the library and run it in a way that suits their needs best. We'll be able to stand back and facilitate it and be there to empower them and equip them."
The grant money covers the $5,000 to $7,000 start up cost for the container, tools and hardware. All of the bikes have been donated, either by local bike shops or passed along after their original owners outgrew them.
"It means they can get around in their communities," says Vicki McCann, the Public Relations and Marketing Supervisor for the city's Transit Division. "But in addition to that, they can get outside of their communities. A lot of these kids do not have bikes or the funds to purchase them or maintain them."
The library was dedicated at the end of last month in coordination with Spruce up the Springs Day.