ST. GEORGE — In hopes of keeping young people active, healthy and engaged, the Healthy Dixie Council and Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance have awarded grants to the St. George Bicycle Collective.
The collective will use the donated funds to help implement an after-school bike workshop program designed to encourage active lifestyles and teach children how to maintain their bikes. Kids will receive a free bike if they cannot afford one after completing the workshop.
The nonprofit collective, which works to provide affordable, refurbished bicycles to kids and low-income households through community donations, opened its new location on St. George Boulevard in October.
“We want to spread the skill of understanding bike mechanics and the fun of biking in a more sustainable way than simply giving away free bikes,” St. George Bicycle Collective Director Judith Rognli said in a news release. “Our goal is to obtain enough funds to hire a mechanic for three months to teach the workshops along with volunteers.”
Grants in the amounts of up to $4,000 from the Healthy Dixie Council and $1,500 from the Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance will help kickoff the workshop.
“The overall goal of Healthy Dixie Council is to get young kids physically active so it becomes a lifelong habit,” Healthy Dixie Council Chair Kye Nordfelt said in the news release. “Biking or walking to school is something Healthy Dixie Council has encouraged through safe routes to school initiatives, bike rodeos to teach bike safety and other initiatives with the Washington County School District.”
The after-school bike workshop program also jibes well with the goals of the Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance, which works to improve cycling in Southern Utah by promoting policy and infrastructure initiatives to make bicycling safe, convenient and inviting for residents and visitors.
“We are excited to be part of the initiatives of the Bicycle Collective to involve young children in the fun and benefits of biking,” alliance board member Craig Shanklin said in the news release. “We believe that the earlier children begin the habits of an active lifestyle, they are more likely to keep those habits for life.”
The collective offers its repair services and products to people of all ages, not just kids. The store works on a mostly volunteer staff and community donations of bikes and equipment.
The St. George store is stocked with affordably priced commuter bikes, road bikes, vintage bikes, mountain bikes and kids’ bikes, in addition to a variety of cycling gear.
Those interested in learning more about the collective or browsing its selection can visit the store at 70 W. St. George Blvd.
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