About b.i.k.e. Syracuse

In 2005 the City of Syracuse reached out to the community and asked for volunteers to create a program that would provide opportunities and options for inner-city, at-risk children. Our founder, Kathleen Oot, answered that call.

A businesswoman, Adventure Racer, and Epic bike racer, Ms. Oot saw the chance to start a unique program to motivate children through bike riding and racing. While developing this concept, she discovered a very successful biking program in Portland, Oregon. Bicycles and Ideas for Kids Empowerment was created by the former director of the Portland State University cycling program and then the Cyclisme Racing Team was formed for the purpose of helping inner-city, at-risk children. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Using this program as a model, b.i.k.e. Syracuse was born. Local businessmen, youth counselors and bike enthusiasts volunteered to become the staff and managers of this new organization. The Board of Education, Police Department and the Parks Department are all working together to help make b.i.k.e. Syracuse a success.

Our goal is to keep the children from entering the cycle of drugs, violence and crime and dropping out of school by providing a caring supportive environment. The b.i.k.e. experience provides a sense of belonging while working with the whole child building physical fitness, academic achievement, and self-discipline while having fun. Our program includes tutoring, excursions to parks, museums and races, participation in community and cultural events and breakfast and lunch on Saturdays. 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.

We opened our doors with an enthusiastic group of twenty 6th graders on May 3, 2006. Since then over 200 children have participated in our program. If you would like to become part of our volunteer family please contact us.