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Free Bikes 4 Kidz Organizes Community Ride For Charity

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Free Bikes 4 Kidz has collected, restored, and given away almost 100,000 free bikes to kids, in cities nationwide. Executive director Terry Esau explained how to join the socially distanced worldwide ride, and why he considers a bike a medical device, reports Mike Augustyniak (3:25). WCCO 4 News - May 1, 2021

Video Transcript

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: Good day to get outside, and since its humble beginnings in a Twin City's garage in 2008, Free Bikes for Kids has collected, restored, and given away almost 100,000 free bikes to kids in cities nationwide. Today, all day, there's a fun and easy way to support their efforts, with a bike ride, of course. Executive Director, Terry Esau, explained how to join the socially-distanced worldwide ride and why he considers a bike a medical device.

TERRY ESAU: Mental, physical, emotional. It heals everything about a human being, I think. I always say when I get on my bike, I'm five years old again. It makes me happy. It makes me healthy. It's a cure all. My wife always laughs at me. She goes, when I have a cold or something, I go, I got to go for a ride to get over this. And she goes, you're the opposite of most people. You think the bike is going to cure you. I'm going, well, I have a history of it. It does.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: You have found a group of supporters and helpers that are just as unusual as you, including a big-time basketball star. Within the past two years, you have teamed up with Bill Walton. Explain that.

TERRY ESAU: Bill is a guy who's had, I don't know, like 30 surgeries. I mean, basketball has kind of destroyed his body and his fused ankles, all this stuff. He can hardly walk anymore, but he rides his bike like three hours a day. And he wears a shirt that says, I love my bike. And for him, it's his freedom. It's his way to get out and breathe fresh air when he can't get around in a lot of other ways.

So Bill has become a champion for Free Bikes for Kids. I mean, his organization, Bike for Humanity, this ride we're doing on Saturday, all the proceeds are going to support Free Bikes for Kids. And by the way, this ride, it's free to ride. Anybody can ride anywhere in the world. It's global. It's virtual.

But we're suggesting, if you donate $25, that's all that it costs us to put a kid on a bike. And this changes their life. I don't know, Mike, if you remember your first bike, but--

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: Absolutely.

TERRY ESAU: Your first bike changes your life. It's your first ticket to go explore the world. One quick story, a mom called us and she had-- there was a boy scout troop that was going to do a bike ride, and she said my kid doesn't have a bike. So we gave him a bike. They did this ride. They slept overnight at this camp. They were loading onto the bus the next day to come back to bring them back home, and the kid asked the scoutmaster, he goes, do we have to ride the bus back? Can't we ride our bikes back?

So the kid that we gave a bike to and the scoutmaster rode their bike back, and that's what happens when you give a kid a bike. So yeah, sign up for our ride at FB4K.org. Donate $25, and you'll help us put one kid on a bike. The ride is this Saturday. You can ride around the block. You can ride 100 miles. You can ride your beach cruiser. You can ride your road bike.

We don't care. Bring your friends along, and get them to donate $25. We're hoping to raise at least 100 grand on this ride, and we can put a lot of kids on bikes with that.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: So again, the ride is today. It's happening right now in some communities. You can do it whenever you want. If you want to learn more, go to WCCO.com/--