We had our suspicions that the spring week of BIKE LIFE – HARTFORD! safety classes and the BIKE LIFE Festival in Heaven Skate Park would be a great event for the city, but no one was prepared for the full gravity of festival day on April 16th. We could not ask for better weather. Our volunteer teams were amazing. Wherever one looked it was smiles for miles. In addition to the teens receiving bicycles we enjoyed the company of family, siblings, and the regular users of the skate park.
Go see all the photos – 2016 BIKE LIFE Facebook Album
Participants took a two hour safety class during the week that was offered at four different community organizations. At the safety course the students received their bicycle helmet and received help from volunteers on proper helmet fit. Those students had to bring their bike helmet to the Saturday BIKE LIFE festival in order to pick up a volunteer tuned, up-cycled bicycle that included front and rear lights. Volunteers set each teen up individually with a bicycle, and then they picked up a bicycle lock. There were three bicycle mechanics on hand to adjust seats and handlebars, and handle minor safety repairs for others who arrived via bicycle. Those with artistic flair modified their helmets with paint and graffiti markers, personalizing and taking ownership for their safety.
Much thanks to all of our community partners and collaborating organizations. This wasn’t just a bike event, we reached deep into the community with sports, civic engagement, life long learning, youth internship applications, and violence prevention outreach. We can’t wait to do this event next year! We could not do safety and outreach events like this without our supporters and BiCi Co. members. You can join today!
And last but not least, Rodrigo Cuadros submitted his BIKE LIFE film, Hartford Bike Cinema, to the Reel Youth Hartford Film Festival and won the Hartford Awesome Award! Congratulations are in order for this active, driven, and creative young man. Rodrigo participated in the BiCi Co. Spring Earn-a-Bike class and worked with several classmates to shoot the footage and edit this short film about why he rides.