I was on a ride a few days ago and a friend asked me, “Other than rides, what does the bike club do?” After I told him all the activities we are involved in he said, “I had no idea.” Which tells me I’ve not done a very good job of letting you know all the good stuff your club is doing in the community.
The “good stuff” falls into two general categories- direct cash contributions and time and talent contributions.
Bridge Chattanooga– Bridge aims to teach children, primarily in underserved communities, leadership and life skills through outdoor activities. One of these activities is a bicycle program at Dalewood Middle School. One of our board members, Kat Volzer, is directly involved in this program, and is doing amazing work on behalf of the bike club and Bridge. Additionally, the board of the bike club put Bridge and Dalewood in touch with the Outride Foundation, a foundation of Specialized bicycles. After a lengthy grant application process, Dalewood was awarded a grant from the foundation for 20 bikes and helmets, a course curriculum, and some support tools. Our cash grant goes toward the maintenance of the bikes, replacement of broken parts, water bottles, and we have just received a private donation to provide down jackets for the children so the course can continue in colder months.
White Oak Bicycle Co-Op– This is a new grant. White Oak’s mission is “to provide refurbished bicycles and bicycle repair services to the community, focusing on children, low-income households, and individuals experiencing homelessness.” If you have a reparable used bike looking for a new home, let us know and we will get it to the people at White Oak. One of our board members has direct knowledge of the program and people involved in it, which gives a huge level of comfort in supporting this cause.
National Park Partners– This is the Chickamauga Battlefield. Lord knows, we use their parking lots and restrooms enough to justify supporting them
Chickamauga Public Library– Same as above. We use their facilities a lot, and it ain’t to check out a book.
Bike Walk Cleveland– Again, one of our board members is involved with BWC, and knows the people running the programs. BWC is “a local champion for a healthy biking and walking community!”
Rest Stop for Honeybee Metric and Century Ride– we provided all the nutrition and drinks for one of the rest stops, helping the event raise $10,000 for the City of Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department. The proceeds are used to offset the registration costs for their youth sports program.
Cycle Sequatchie– The bike club staffed, provided for, and ran 4 of the 5 rest stops for Cycle Sequatchie. The event is the largest fundraiser for the club and the event organizer contributed >$4500 to the Land Trust of Tennessee.
Time and Talent Contributions
There are almost too many of these to list, but include (I know I’m going to leave a lot out. Please don’t get mad at me).
- Bike Rodeo on Signal Mountain
- Girls Night Out Cycling Program
- Support for many of Kat Volzer’s activities
I hope this gives you an idea of what the club is up to when we are not on our bikes. We have an even busier and bolder agenda for the upcoming year, and hopefully the club members will see the benefits the communities will receive as a result of your volunteering to help.