(Photo courtesy Boston Housing Authority)
Nearly 100 children in the South End and Roxbury are receiving their own bicycles this month as part of the city’s Roll it Forward program designed to make cycling more accessible and promote a healthy lifestyle.
The city’s Boston Bikes program and International Bicycle Centers partnered with the Boston Housing Authority and Madison Park Development Corporation to give bicycles to children between 4 and 7 years old living at the Lenox/Camden Housing Development last week. Children at the Madison Park Development will receive bikes this week.
The children received their new bikes and helmets at a giveaway event where they learned safe biking skills at a “bike rodeo.”
“It’s important that children from all neighborhoods can benefit from our city bicycling programs,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement. “Biking is a great way for children to stay healthy and have fun, and Roll It Forward makes that possible.”
Since 2010, Roll It Forward, a Boston Bikes and Boston Public Health Commission initiative has distributed more than 1,400 bicycles to low-income children, teens, adults, and seniors across all Boston neighborhoods.
Roll it Forward collects used bicycles by partnering with area bike shops. Mechanics refurbish the bikes and they are then distributed in partnership with organizations such as the Boston Housing Authority, Artists for Humanity, Franklin Park Coalition, LIFT Boston, Boston Public Schools, and area health centers.
International Bicycle Centers recently donated 107 bicycles, bringing the total donated by the shop to nearly 800 bicycles over the last two years.
"Our goal is to increase access to bikes by supporting Boston Bikes through donation bikes received as part of our youth bike trade up program," Harold Knochin, owner of International Bicycle Centers, said.