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Program ready to launch in Omaha and Lincoln schools to teach students how to ride bikes, stay fit

Placing more bikes and helmets in public schools for free
Posted at 7:01 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 20:01:08-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is supporting a movement to place more bikes and helmets in public schools at no cost to districts.

The Learn-To-Ride Bike Programs are launching at three elementary schools in Omaha and Lincoln, including Gifford Park Elementary Schools. Today, the bikes were delivered.

Ricketts showed up at the delivery to support the program with the hope that kids in kindergarten will learn and love cycling at a young age.

"Riding a bike is a great way for kids to develop self-confidence, get mobility, like be able to go around their neighborhood and develop all sorts of positive things for kids," Ricketts said.

The inventor of the bikes, Ryan McFarland, says the point of the bikes is to teach kids balance first and then pedaling.

He says the bike is designed with tires that don't require air so teachers don't have to worry about filling them up.

"Once the kids learn how to balance the bike and how to steer it and keep it centered under them, then this bike can actually have pedals bolted right on so it has the sprocket back here, and pedals bolt on with just one bolt," McFarland said.

Mike Gilbert, the Physical Education teacher for Gifford Park Elementary, hopes the bike donations will level the playing field for kids to stay physically fit.

"For them to stay physically fit beyond their years in education because that's my ultimate goal is after they graduate from high school, they still want to be physically active. If this is an opportunity for it, I'm all about it," Gilbert said.

Ricketts tells 3 News Now the program is looking for more organizations to sponsor schools and bring more bikes to the area. You can find out more about the program by visiting the All Kids Bike website.

The bike deliveries were made possible thanks to donations from Suiter Swantz Intellectual Property and BNSF Railway Foundation.

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