Back in February, Denny International Middle School parent and PTA member Theresa Beaulieu, launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to purchase bikes for students of the school. She was able to raise $1,500 in donations, enough to buy 10 KHS mountain bikes from West Seattle’s Alki Bike and Board, owned by Stu Hennesey.
The bikes came in boxes, so Theresa coordinated a bike assembly day (back in July) with Will King, Denny’s Out of School Program Director, who was able to get kids to help put the bikes together. The students rotated through assembly stations during a 3 hour period to help Theresa and two additional volunteers, Jason Beaulieu and Jeff Hallman. Saddles, wheels, pedals, handlebars and reflectors were installed and brakes were checked and adjustments made. The kids had fun learning how to work on bikes and even more fun test-riding them once they were done (a vital step that all mechanics use to ensure that the bike is safe).
These bikes are being used for Denny’s inaugural Major Taylor Program, which was held after school on Thursdays this fall. Cascade’s Major Taylor Program administers the program, which is co-lead by Miles Schulman of Americorps. According to Miles,
“Every Thursday a group of six kids and two instructors hit the roads around Denny, riding everywhere from Fauntleroy Park to High Point Pond, stopping on our rides to enjoy views, play football, and get some hot chocolate and snacks. We taught the kids hand signals, road safety techniques, emergency stops, and shifting. Students got to practice mountain biking techniques in the parks around their neighborhood. We climbed big hills and loved flying down them.”
Two of the club riders, Abdi and Kai, even participated in this year’s Subaru Woodland Park Cyclocross Series #6 race, held on November 9, 2014 at Woodland Park. Both students did exceptionally well, completing two laps covered in mud!
We will be having another Spring Bike Club at Denny and look forward to the fun rides ahead. Thank you to all who have donated, supported and helped Theresa’s dream come true, and that is to have an after school bike club at Denny to help get more kids comfortable on bikes.