Dozens of kids living in the Generations Housing Project in Hartford strapped on new helmets and hopped on bicycles for the very first time Monday.
The bikes were donated through a class project at West Hartford’s Hall High School in May.
"The three high school kids from Hall High were overwhelmed, they got 143 bikes," recalled Nancy Pappas, director of external communications for the Community Renewal Team, which runs Generations.
Many of the bikes that were donated needed a little TLC. That’s where the Center for Latino Progress came in.
"They did need flat tires repaired, chains lubricated, a couple of the bearings needed to be adjusted and repacked," said Anthony Cherolis.
The outreach program gave a group of Hartford teens the chance to learn the skills to do bike repair.
"It made me feel good because I’m actually helping the community that we live in," said Jordan Miller, a sophomore at Weaver Culinary Arts Academy, who helped refurbish the bikes.
Thirteen-year-old S’Dajhia Rogers said she grew out of her bike when she was six and hadn't owned one since.
"I see my other friends riding their bikes and now I’m getting a bike so I won’t be left out," she said as she got ready to pick her bike out Monday.
Before taking their newly refurbished bikes homes, the children learned about safety and the rules of the road.
Rogers said she knows how she’ll be spending the rest of her summer.
“Riding it with my friends, and having fun with them, have bike races and playing outside," she said.