TREK BECOMES FIRST NATIONAL SPONSOR OF FREIKER BIKE-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAM
Grant Enables Nonprofit Advocacy Group To Build Meters, Expand Program
(Waterloo, WI) – Trek Bicycle Corporation—through its 1 World 2 Wheels initiative—has made a major grant to Freiker, Inc., a bike-to-school program based in Boulder, Colorado. Freiker, short for “FREquent bIKER,” will use the grant to expand its wildly successfully program to communities and school systems hungry for a proven approach for getting kids to ride bikes as the primary method of getting to school.
“With Trek’s support, we’ll be able to expand into more communities across the country resulting in more riding, fewer car trips, and healthier kids,” said Zach Noffsinger, Freiker’s Executive Director. “Trek is to be commended for making a no-strings-attached gift—they share our vision and we’re grateful for their support.”
“This is exactly the sort of program 1 World 2 Wheels is proud to support,” noted Trek’s Director of Advocacy, Rebecca Anderson. “It gets kids riding, provides measurable results, and energizes the school community. I’ve seen it work, and it’s terrific.”
Freiker is a technology-enabled program that has been operating for the past four years at several schools in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado, with participating students making over 27,000 round trips to school in 2008. This year, Freiker has added programs in Madison, Wisconsin and Eugene, Oregon. Kids, parents, and school administrators all love the Freiker program for the way it makes biking to school both safe and rewarding. Freiker provides an automated and reliable method of counting each ride, tracking results, and distributing incentive awards to riders. Freiker has also earned funding through the national Safe Routes to School program.
Boulder parent and entrepreneur Rob Nagler dreamed up the Freiker program as a way to motivate his kids and their friends to ride to elementary school. Nagler wanted to move beyond volunteer-intensive counting techniques and use technology to make the program more fun and reliable. The Freiker technology consists of the Freikometer (a solar-powered radio frequency identification, or RFID, reader mounted on a post at the school yard), RFID chips attached to each rider’s bike helmet, and the freiker.org website. A rider cruises under the Freikometer, which instantly identifies the student, emits a fun and distinctive bell sound, and then wirelessly uploads data to the Freiker website, where participants can go to track progress towards their riding goals.
Crestview Elementary School principal Ned Levine reports: “Our bike racks are overflowing. Everybody at Crestview - the kids, the parents, the teachers and the principal - loves the Freiker program.” Boulder Valley School District official Landon Hilliard observes, “I call it the ‘smile index,’ and I can see it on their faces. They're happy to be on their bikes, and they know that they are part of a movement.”
About Trek Bicycle:
Headquartered in Waterloo, Wisconsin, Trek Bicycle Corporation is a global leader in bicycle design and manufacturing. From the original hand-built steel touring frames introduced in 1976 to the revolutionary OCLV Carbon first introduced in 1992, Trek’s passion for innovation, quality, and performance leads the industry with next-generation thinking and cutting-edge technology. Today, with a broad range of bicycles and cycling products under the Trek, Gary Fisher, Bontrager brand names, Trek continues to pursue new ways to bring the joy of cycling to all people.
About 1 World 2 Wheels:
1 World 2 Wheels is Trek’s commitment to help the world become a more bicycle-friendly place. With the world facing skyrocketing obesity rates, escalating traffic congestion, and the concerns of global climate change, the bicycle is an under utilized solution. Trek, via 1 World 2 Wheels, is taking steps to alleviate the obstacles that prevent people from using bicycles for transportation, as well as recreation.
Freiker, a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Boulder, creates healthier, happier children and a cleaner environment by using fun prizes and advanced technology to encourage children to ride their bikes to school. For additional information, visit Freiker at www.freiker.org.