History & Mission




Bicycles and Ideas for Kids Empowerment

b.i.k.e. was formed January 10, 1995 for the purpose of providing opportunities and options for inner-city, at-risk children. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Our goal is to provide 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 five 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. As we like to say, “The children are in training for life's cycles.” Our lofty outcomes are built upon a solid foundation of research-proven strategies for helping at-risk youth become productive, prosocial, powerful members of their communities.


Our Founder

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 Team. When he began at P.S.U., cycling was considered to be an "elitist" sport. He began to build a team of dedicated, young, inner-city champions. The team is ranked 3rd in the state and boasts many potentially world class riders who have brought home over 26 state age group championships.

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 white sport. b.i.k.e. immediately adds diversity to the sport through our active participation in racing and bicycle events. Furthermore, these children will become the minority role models of tomorrow, which are largely absent in bicycling today.

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 into a national contender, followed by Europe, and finally the Olympics.

Transforming lives, one pedal stroke at a time


b.i.k.e. facilitates the development of values and life skills essential for productive citizenship in inner-city youth through bicycling, tutoring, year-round mentoring, and leadership training.