woom Helps Out With The ABGB+Ghisallo “Hell Yes!” Bike Builds
Christopher Stanton, executive director and founder of the Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, sums up the Austin nonprofit’s “Hell Yes!” build-a-bike holiday lunch program with a simple equation: Beer + Pizza + Party = Bikes for Kids! Groups of friends or co-workers say “Hell Yes” and team up together to sponsor fun, feel-good bike-building events that help deserving kids learn to ride and to explore and connect with their communities by bike.
Pictured above, left to right: Jeff, Noni, Mark, Girmawi, Mathias and Christopher.
December 2018 marked the program’s fourth year, with 15 bike-building events scheduled over the course of three weeks at The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company on West Oltorf Street.
woom bikes USA took part in the initiative this holiday season, matching each bike build with a $150-$200 in-kind donation and also donating a woom 1, woom 2, or woom 3 for every build. In total, woom donated 50 upcycled bikes for Ghisallo’s Bike Start (learn-to-ride) program and helped to build 37 woom 4, woom 5, and woom 6 bikes for Ghisallo’s primary fleet, providing even more youth access to the core Bike Club and Bicycle Skills Challenge programs.
Bike Club focuses on exploration, navigation, and transportation. Students learn to navigate and access the city, using their bikes to get to the park, the pool, their friends’ houses, and school. This program works with underserved 3rd-8th graders primarily at Title 1 schools; since 2013, Bike Club has benefited more than 18,000 kids at more than 30 sites across Austin.
Bike Start is a learn-to-ride program that introduces kids not only to the physical and mental health benefits of cycling but also enables self-directed transportation. Ghisallo aims to develop a full-scale Kindergarten-5th Bike Start program that focuses on underserved student populations, ensuring that all Austin students have the opportunity to learn to ride by the time they leave elementary school.
A surprisingly high number of students in Austin don’t know how to ride a bike: at some campuses, Ghisallo has observed that 35-50% of the students in a 3rd-5th grade classroom haven’t been taught this skill.
Since 2013, Ghisallo has served more than 19,000 individual kids through its after-school and summer Bike Club programs, as well as over 11,000 in its Bicycle Skills Challenge program, which incorporates riding and safety skills during school P.E. classes. Ghisallo has been lauded by community leaders for its unique programs and community engagement; in 2017, Ghisallo was recognized as Glimmer Austin’s Angel in the Community and as a City of Austin Department of Sustainability Net-Zero Hero.
Ghisallo’s “Hell Yes!” bike builds offer a big step up from a traditional holiday party. No experience is required, as Ghisallo’s friendly bike mechanics are on hand to help from start to finish, and each bike only takes 15 to 20 minutes to build. Beers, lunch, a little bit of elbow grease, and maybe a little bit of bike grease, too…it’s an easy way to turn a group celebration into a good deed that has a lasting impact.
At woom bikes USA, we offer lightweight, high-quality woom bikes for children of all ages, starting at one and half and going up to 14-year-olds. View all of our bikes and accessories here.