Community Impact

Graduation on Wheels: Empowering young cyclists in Washington, DC

Last week, over 200 second graders received their own bike, helmet, and lock as part of the “Graduation on Wheels” program, organized by DC Bike Ride. The program focused on making cycling safer and more fun and inclusive for everyone.

Graduation on Wheels - riding in the parkA year of learning and fun

The lucky second graders spent the entire year studying bike safety as part of the DC Public Schools‘ bike riding program. Although the program has been around for nearly a decade, this year was special. For the first time, graduating students were given their own cycling gear to take home, marking a significant milestone in the program’s history and enhancing its mission to promote safe cycling.

A lesson in safety

Before receiving their new bikes, helmets, and locks, the children were quizzed on their bike safety knowledge by DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee. When asked, they shared what they had learned about the ABCs of bike safety, a simple trick to help them remember to check that their tires have enough Air and that Brakes, Chains, and Cranks are operating properly.

A community effort

The event saw participation from community leaders, including Mayor Muriel Bowers, who emphasized the health benefits of biking. “Being outside is healthy for you, right? When you are outside you can play with your friends, right?” she asked the students, who responded with a resounding, “Yes!”

After the speeches, the children tested their new bikes at a pop-up traffic garden in nearby Kenilworth Park. They navigated curves and stop signs, guided by volunteers wearing yellow vests and waving black and white checkered flags. The hands-on experience was not only fun but also reinforced the safety lessons they had learned throughout the year.

Making it happen

Graduation on Wheels eventThe Graduation on Wheels event’s success was made possible with the generous donations and support of several organizations. DC Bike Ride, the group behind the annual 20-mile citywide cycling event, donated the bikes. Helmets were donated by Bell, a renowned brand in the cycling industry. Other key partners included Care First, Events D.C., and JK Moving Services.

JK stored the bikes before and after assembly and transported the bikes to ensure that each bike was delivered to its new owner.

We look forward to seeing more such initiatives that bring joy, education, and empowerment to our communities.