COLORADO SPRINGS — It's bike riding season and a local non-profit organization isn't pumping the brakes when it comes to teaching kids in the community how to ride a bicycle.
The organization called Kids on Bikes, started in 2005 and since then, they've impacted thousands of kids throughout the Pikes Peak region. They provide access to bikes, opportunities to ride, and bicycling education.
The organization works with more than 20 schools in town, and hundreds of kids like William Zimmerman, who rode his bike to school on Wednesday morning.
"It's always good to get a bike ride in before you get the day started," said William Zimmerman. "We learned some safety, stay on the right side, look where you are on the roads, just be safe."
The organization also helped place 15 bike libraries throughout Colorado Springs. The bike libraries are shipping containers, where bikes and helmets are kept when they're not in use. The organization also offers an "earn-a-bike" program.
"We're focusing on areas of town that face a little more barriers when it comes to accessing a bicycle," said Daniel Byrd, the organization's executive director. "We provide earn-a-bike when we know the opportunity own a bike is going to be trickier in other parts of town. It's not just a handout, because once the bike is in the kids hands, they own it, they earned it, and they take ownership in a much stronger way. It also builds a lot of confidence."
Through the earn-a-bike program, kids can learn how to be good stewards of their bike, but also good stewards of their health.
"Not many kids have bikes and that's a shame, so I think getting kids outside and exercising and in the fresh air is great," said Kelly Noga, whose daughter is part of the bike club. "I think it's a great opportunity because older kids can take leadership too."
Meanwhile Byrd also told News5, it's more than just a bike for many of the kids.
"It's empowerment, it's independence getting to and from school, getting out to their neighborhoods," said Byrd. "A bicycle is also a lifelong healthy activity that you can do, and there are so many health benefits to it."
Kids on Bikes is also expanding its efforts, by offering bikes and training so kids can learn how to ride a bike during their gym class at school.
As the warmer months are picking up, the organization also has some events to look forward to this season, like bike clinics and camps, bike carnivals, and family bike rides.
Kids on Bikes does takes bike donations and monetary donations. $50 dollars will help give a helmet and toolkit to a child. The organization is also looking for volunteers to fix bikes at the pedal station.
For more information about Kids on Bikes, click here.