GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- The 10th annual Bike Banquet hosted by the Green Bay Bike Collective returned Sunday, after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is our first time ever hosting at our Shop,” said Michael Johnson, program coordinator. In years past, the event has been held at various locations.
Education is a big part of what GBBC is all about. “We were just bike enthusiasts and now we’re bike Advocates and Educators,” said Heather Gentry, co-founder of the organization. Gentry says they work to teach kids of the community about bikes. “We are teaching them about bike safety at a minimum and if children want to come here and learn about bike maintenance, they can do that as well,” said Gentry.
Over the last decade, GBBC has created the Youth Earn a Bike program, which gives kids the opportunity to work on a refurbished bike and then keep them afterward. “All of our bikes are donated to us, we rehab them, and get them back into the Community,” said Johnson.
Whether you are learning to ride or have been riding for years, incidents can have when Bicyclists hit the road. “It’s important just to make sure people don’t get hit by cars, especially in Green Bay,” said San Dejardin 15-year-old bicyclist. Dejardin says he has been nearly struck by vehicles while riding. “It can be scary sometimes,” said Dejardin.
Chas Shefchik, 18 often rides his bike on city streets and says he too has had near-miss situations. “I’ve had a few times where cars just act really erratic around my bike and are just not paying attention,” said Shefchik. The GBBC has been working with the city of Green Bay to install more bike lanes. “It’s about creating a safe space for bikes to move about in traffic,” said Gentry.
The GBBC hopes to raise $3,000 at the Bike Banquet through a raffle of a number of prizes. To learn more information on the GBBC including how you can donate bicycles, click here. A friendly reminder to look out for Bicyclists on our City streets.