B.I.K.E was formed January 10, 1995 for the purpose of providing opportunities and options for kids. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Our goal is to provide holistic personal, athletic, and academic success through the medium of bicycles. The bicycle is a tool that we use to encourage children to race after all kinds of dreams. It draws out the children's strength and courage, and challenges their fear.
Through our six programs, b.i.k.e. makes a strong, individualized commitment to each rider. We teach them personal empowerment, which leads to transformation in their lives. Our lofty outcomes are built upon a solid foundation of research-proven strategies for helping at- risk youth become productive, pro-social, powerful members of their communities.
Bicycles and Ideas for Kids Empowerment evolved from founder John Benenate's experience as the director of the Portland State University cycling program and then the Cyclisme Racing programs. When he began at Portland State University, cycling was considered to be an "elitist" sport so he built a team of dedicated, young, cycling mentors who were always ready to extend a benevolent hand to the community. Now in Oregon, Cyclisme boasts many high-caliber riders who have brought home 64 state championships. The team is ranked 15th in the state because the Cyclisme Racing Program finds and develops talent from all walks of life, fitness level, and age, including the kids of b.i.k.e. The kids of b.i.k.e. are the pride and joy of the Cyclisme Racing Program
Enthusiasm for the sport
On the way to the children's dreams, they also develop a passion for the sport of bicycling. While that may seem self-evident, it is especially noteworthy because the sport of bicycle racing is predominantly a sport with very few faces of color. b.i.k.e. immediately adds diversity to the sport through our active participation in racing and bicycle events. Furthermore, these children are trained to become the minority role models of tomorrow, largely absent in bicycling today. Accomplished faces of color like Olympic silver-medalist, Nelson Vails help train the children.
With the tireless help of a core group of talented volunteers and a supportive Board of Directors, the hard work has just begun. There is a vision for the future that includes developing the team not only into competitive cyclists, but also empowered leaders of the global community.
Transforming lives, one pedal stroke at a time.