FLO Cycling – Bike for a Kid, Our Road to Kona

 
Our Bike for a Kid Program was started with the idea of giving back to our local community.  The program, which is run in-house at FLO Cycling, donates a Huffy bike and Bell helmet to a less fortunate child every time we sell a set of ceramic bearing wheels.  We had our first bike drop in June of 2012 in Las Vegas (video below), and it was a very special day.  We left that event with dreams of expanding the Bike for a Kid Program beyond our own community, and we made that a goal for 2013.  We just needed to figure out how!

 

 

Near the end of 2012 we met Ironman athlete Thad Beaty who also happens to be the lead guitar player for Sugarland.  Thad was working with Dave Deschenes from the Ironman Foundation on creating the Ironman Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team (IFNRA Tri Team).  I’d like to share the Ironman Foundation’s mission statement with you because the triathlon team was created with the same beliefs.  

to leave IRONMAN’s legacy through philanthropy, volunteerism and grant making; by supporting various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit non-profits organizations around the world.” – Ironman Foundation Mission Statement

It was easy for us to believe in this team from the beginning and we kept in touch with Thad over the next few months as the team began taking shape.  In the end, we became the official wheel sponsor of the team and more importantly, we had a brand new avenue for expanding our Bike for a Kid Program.  
 
Expanding Bike for a Kid – Our Road to Kona
Since the athletes on the IFNRA Tri Team are helping the communities where they race, we felt as a sponsor, that FLO Cycling should not be any different.  We picked a list of races (shown below) and will be at those events throughout the year on our “Road to Kona”.  At each Ironman event we visit, we will be donating Bike for a Kid bikes and helmets to the local communities.  Our journey will end this year in Kona, Hawaii at the Ironman World Championships where we hope to have our biggest bike donation to date.  

 

FLO Cycling’s Road to Kona
 
How you Can Get Involved
Originally, our Bike for a Kid funds were generated strictly from the sale of ceramic bearing wheels.  So yes, you can help by purchasing ceramic bearing wheels from us, but we realized that this doesn’t work for everyone.  FLO Cycling is an LLC, which means by law we cannot accept charitable donations.  Setting up a 501c(3) (a charitable organization) is very time consuming and expensive.  As a start-up company, it simply was not a step we could afford to take at this point in time.  
 
But…
 
The Ironman Foundation is, by definition, a charitable organization and they have agreed to accept Bike for a Kid donations on our behalf.  We will be accepting donations via the Ironman Foundation to support our Bike for a Kid program between now and October 12, 2013 when we deliver our shipment of bikes in Kona, Hawaii.  If you are interested in donating (which would mean the world to us and to many children), you can do so here.  We are also hopeful that this program will continue not only next year, but for many years to come.  
 
As a triathlete (and in our case, as triathletes and entrepreneurs) it’s easy to get caught up in personal gain.  The IFNRA Tri Team believes that triathlon can be about so much more than personal gain.  In the communities where we train and race, there are many in need and we feel it is important to take time to give back.  We are very excited about our opportunity to expand our Bike for a Kid program and greatly appreciate all of the help we have received from our customers and friends to date.  If you feel inclined to donate, we’d like to thank you as well.  

I’ll leave you with a video of our first Bike for a Kid Bike Drop.  It’s pretty awesome!
 
 
 
As always, comments and questions are encouraged.

Take care,

Chris