2,400 New bikes built and donated by Turning Wheels for Kids

Team MBOSC for bike build 2011

On a sunny Saturday in early December 850 volunteers came together under one roof in San Jose for the Turning Wheels for Kids bike build. We donated our time, skills and money to provide kids with a Christmas gift that we hope will lead to a lifetime of good health and fitness.

The mission of Turning Wheels for Kids is to provide children with brand new bikes to encourage life long habits of exercise and outdoor activity. Turning Wheels for Kids started in 2003 by Susan Runsvold and is a true community gem. The original goal was to build and distribute bikes to underprivileged children at Christmas but the mission has expanded to provide instruction to help kids maintain their bikes and to teach kids to ride their bikes safely on the roads. If we can teach every kid to love the bicycle and the joy of riding, then the world has a better future.

MBOSC supports the mission of Turning Wheels for Kids and have participated in the charity bike build since 2006. This year we had a team of 9 volunteers and built 24 of the 2400 bikes. Over the years the quality of donated bikes have increased and we are giving kids the bikes they want – which includes mountain bikes, BMX bikes and beach cruisers. These new bikes will be donated to Bay Area and Northern California charities and individuals and will include helmets and locks.

This event is an excellent demonstration of how bike groups and businesses in the Bay Area/Northern California come together. Some bike related organizations who participated include ROMP, MBOSC, Vello Girls, Team Wrong Way, MTBR.com, Fox Racing Shox and Specialized.

Thanks to Alan Strahsberg for stepping up to organize team MBOSC.

Some other accounts of this years event:

* An excellent event writeup with photos on mtbr.com.
* Erik – member of Team MBOSC’s event writeup
* Article in the Mercury News about TWFK 2011

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2 comments on “2,400 New bikes built and donated by Turning Wheels for Kids

  1. Asley Left on said:

    Why are we fixated on making all cyclists perform their own repairs? I would venture to guess that at least 90% of auto drivers don’t repair their own auto’s. Nobody repairs the flats on their cars. You just swap it for a spare tire, and take the flat one to a repair shop.

  2. Asley: These bikes go predominantly to low income families who do not have the resources to take it to bike repair shops. Sue Runsvold had mentioned that some of the donated bikes would sit in garages and go unused for something as simple as a flat tire. Bike co-ops would help but providing kids and families training to make simple repairs would be empowering. Teach a man to fish so to speak.

    Cars have become too specialized and complicated for even mechanically inclined people to maintain. The great advantage of bikes over cars is that they are very simple machines that anyone can maintain with basic tools. Maintenance can be done in a small area like a driveway or balcony. Replacing a car tire requires a large machine that most folks do not have in their garages – if they have a garage.