FAQ about the kids of b.i.k.e.?

“What is the breakdown of ethnicities, ages, and socioeconomic status?”

Ethnicities: 58% African American, 22% Native American, 7% Haitian, 7 % Latino, 6% Caucasian


  •  Year-round program
    • 8 – 19 for the b.i.k.e. program, after which “children” graduate (see “how long
  • do the kids stay with the program”).
  • The average age is 14, with the core age group being between 12 and 16.
  • We often give opportunities to college-aged kids for public speaking and mentoring.

Socioeconomic status:

Ninety-five percent of the children who participate in the year-round program live in poverty and only have a single parent. They live in the less advantaged areas of Portland where community resources and positive places with pro-social things to do, are rare. With the influence of b.i.k.e., these children get exposed to the cultural centers of Portland as well as greater Portland and other parts of Oregon. These exposures are beneficial because children in these neighborhoods often don’t travel far from home

“How do the kids come to you?”

In the beginning, children found the year-round program through a personal relationship with the founder, or through someone who knew him. Shortly thereafter, children came through the community programs like Kids on Bikes or Rollers 101. With the invaluable partnership with Dishman Community Center and Boys & Girls Clubs of America referrals have come via their counselors. To become a year-round component team member, a child must demonstrate an interest. For example, if a child only comes to one or two practices, tutoring sessions, or some other element and doesn’t show up again, the interest wasn’t really there. Once a child commits to b.i.k.e., b.i.k.e. commits to them.

The Kids on Bikes program is populated primarily from referrals. Other community agencies, parents, or the children themselves help spread the word. Because of the location of the program and our dedication to serving at-risk youth, the majority of the children are minorities from poor communities.

The Spring Camp is advertised nationwide. The first edition of the program served a population similar to the year-round program. Future camps will serve a wider population with the goal being that those who are able to pay for it support the expense of those who cannot.

Rollers 101 is an indoor program that serves the population of the community centers where the programs are located, which are poor, primarily ethnic minorities. The same is true for the Jefferson High School program and the Blanchet Junior High School program in Syracuse, New York.

“How long do kids stay in the program?”

With the exception of the year-round component, the programs are finite in length (see program descriptions). For the year-round program, it typically serves up to 57 children. Currently our capacity is 20 children.

Once a child graduates from the b.i.k.e. program, they are still on our radar. Sometimes they become part of the Cyclisme Racing Team, which is the adult component, while others move into college education, work life, or professional cycling. All of our children have a connection to the program and to the help and support that characterizes a good team.

“What is the capacity of the program?”

The year-round component has a maximum of 20 slots. After that, satellite programs would be developed when the proper funding is in place.

The Kids on Bikes program can serve about 50 per cell. b.i.k.e. is not currently operating any summer entry-point cells at this time, but the goal is to offer Kids on Bikes camps in 2011, as funding allows. The model will then carry forward to other cities and states through a variety of organizations (see b.i.k.e. Syracuse, online). Note the endorsement letter from US Cycling in the press pack that identifies our program as the national model.

The School Program was piloted at Jefferson High School. It went remarkably well and we are looking into spreading it to a few more schools next year with the same model.

Rollers 101 is a versatile program with 50 children per year. With a slightly larger team with more participants trained and more equipment, the program could be expanded to almost any size.

The Spring Camp typically serves 30 children and the same number of adults in the first year. In the spring of 2002, the program was strongly supported by Nike and featured 216 campers along 80 volunteers, some of whom were Current and Former World Champion riders. At the time it was the biggest cycling development camp in the nation.

“What does mentoring look like?”

Currently, mentoring follows a distributed model. There are the core volunteers (see page 15) who are frequently around and in the children’s lives. The adult team members of Cyclisme are also pro-social adult role models. Since the year-round b.i.k.e. program doesn’t involve scores of children, it is easier to keep track of who is doing what. Thus, when Madre needs a paper reviewed, whoever is available and has that skill steps in. If Hector is missing team events or his grades are slipping, someone will show up at his house. When the team is on a development ride, the adults have the opportunity to talk with them for a long period of time. If someone needs a job to make a little money, yard work crews are arranged.

As nice as this model works, b.i.k.e. wants to add an individual mentorship model – one adult for one child for at least a year. Within our 2011 – 2012 fiscal year, this effort will become a reality. The recruiting, screening, and monitoring elements are making steady progress. For this endeavor, b.i.k.e. plans to follow the best practice developed (www.mentoring.org).