QUANDT

Andy Quandt: "We’re not just a group that buys bikes and gets them to kids. It’s about bringing people together. The community already has the resources, we just need the organization."

PHOTO BY MICHELLE STOCKER

For the fifth year, Cap Times reporters asked several Madisonians to share their "bright ideas" for the new year. We will publish the 2018 edition of Bright Ideas throughout the next week.

Every kid in the Madison area who wants a bike should get a bike.

Madison already has this great biking infrastructure in place and I think we should make sure that’s going to be as accessible as possible. That starts by ensuring kids have a good, safe bike.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a three-month program that happens every year. People can drop off bikes on Jan. 13 at various SSM Health locations around the area. People can clean the bikes, fix the bikes and get ready to give them away through community organizations around town— the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, different community centers all over town. Those are really the three parts: the collection of bikes, the rehab of bikes and the giving of bikes.

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It’s a community effort, and that’s the real power of the program. It brings people together into this common workspace. We’re not just a group that buys bikes and gets them to kids. It’s about bringing people together. The community already has the resources, we just need the organization.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Erik Lorenzsonn is the Capital Times' tech and culture reporter. He joined the team in 2016, after having served as an online editor for Wisconsin Public Radio and having written for publications like The Progressive Magazine and The Poughkeepsie Journal.