Glen Rumbaugh, BikeWalkKC’s Education Operations Coordinator, recently led an adult Earn-A-Bike session with residents of the Chouteau Housing court, made possible through our collaboration with Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. Here, Glen tells us about the experience:
I love bikes. As children, bikes gave us wings – it was as close to flying as most of us will ever get. Some grow up and forget that feeling, never riding again. Others continue to ride but only on weekends. A few use the bike for transportation. Then there are those who would ride but are not able to because bikes are just too expensive.
That’s why I love BikeWalkKC’s Adult Earn-a-Bike program (AEAB). The AEAB is a four-week program during which we teach “Rules of the Road,” safe bike handling skills, and “how to maintain your ride.” Each participant is given a bicycle upon successful completion of the program. We recently held an AEAB at Chouteau Courts, on Independence Avenue and Virginia, as part of our partnership with Samuel U. Rogers Health Center. We started with eight adults aged 17 to 52, all of whom had ridden a bike as a child but hadn’t ridden for years. Most hadn’t ridden because they couldn’t afford a bike and did not have a bike now.
The first day was probably the most boring for the students because they had to listen to me explain the “Rules of the Road” and proper bike riding skills. Session two was more fun for them, since we brought different kinds of bikes for the students to see and try out. This way, they knew what type of bike they wanted and we knew what sizes were needed. Session three was fun for all of us: we brought bikes for the seven remaining students, and they got to ride a course we laid out on the basketball court where they worked on their riding skills like scanning and signaling.
We used the last session as an opportunity to show how a bike could enhance their lives. We rode together to Aldi’s, a grocery store near the apartments, then continued a few more blocks and returning to the start. During the trip, we talked about ways to use their bikes, like for grocery shopping, getting to work or job interviews, and using the “bike and bus” method to extend a trip.
Judging by the smiles on their faces it appeared that we were successful. We hope to come back soon, giving more people the opportunity to live happier and healthier lives riding bikes.
Glen keeps our education programs running smoothly, including maintaining our growing fleet of bikes for BLAST and Earn-a-Bike. He is also a long-time member of the Kansas City, MO Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Glen also has the distinction of being the only member of the BikeWalkKC team to have completed the grueling Dirty Kanza gravel race! Contact Glen.