Words and photo by Sheila Foraker, CAzBike Southern Arizona Representative
Stealing from kids is among the lowest form of crime. Stealing from kids who have nothing is even worse. Consider the plight of KarmaRacer, supporter of Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) and AmeriSchools Academy. KarmaRacer is a bicycle re-cycler that serves youth, families and adults with low income. Not once, but twice their donated bicycles were stolen from a storage facility.
|Gary LeBlanc, Superintendent of
AmeriSchools, loads donated
bikes for transport to Phoenix
“I am so frustrated,” reported Luis from KarmaRacer. “I went to storage to bring the bikes and 25 [were] missing.”
Gary LeBlanc, Superintendent of AmeriSchools charter school has been working for months with ABC and the families of the students. The plan is to provide these youth with an opportunity to improve their lives thought active participation, specifically in cycling.
AmeriSchools, through a tax donation, and ABC provides the youth, mostly middle school students, with jerseys, ABC Family Membership, helmets, socks, water bottles and bikes at no charge to the families.
A bike safety rodeo was planned for the students to learn traffic concepts in a safe and fun environment. Then the bikes were stolen.- twice! And mother nature brought welcomed rain thus canceling the rodeos.
“We have 4 bikes [that can be repaired] and need 6 more to completely outfit the kids,” said Gary LeBlanc, Superintendent of AmeriSchools.. “Unless there’s an angel out there I’m afraid the bike club is a club without bikes and this event will, once again, not get off the ground.”
The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists stepped in as the rescuing angel providing 10 used bicycles that were donated from the City of Tucson surplus property.
While loading the bikes for transport back to Phoenix, Gary said, “This donation of bikes is greatly appreciated. Thanks to the Coalition we can have our bike rodeo and get the kids riding.”
The bike rodeo is sponsored by Valley Metro and the bike club is being sponsored by AmeriSchools Academy and ABC.