At the beginning of every year, Tomias Hinchcliff, owner of Genesis Bicycles, presents Steve Schmitt, Director of CAR-FREE CAT, with a generous check to support bicycle education. The checks total nearly $10,000 over the last 6 years! As a result of Hinchcliff’s largesse, hundreds of children in the Easton Area School District wear bicycle helmets. The children’s bikes are checked by a qualified mechanic (many times provided by Genesis Bicycles), too. The bikes are properly fitted by League of American Bicyclists certified instructors thanks to a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Basic skills and emergency procedures are taught to the kids, while bike safety checks are taught to their parents.
This year 7 different EASD elementary schools are expected to participate in the bicycle education programming coordinated by CAT Bike Director, Scott Slingerland. He says the program has expanded in the Easton area every year he’s worked at CAT, largely because of Genesis Bicycles consistent contributions. “There are lots of people and organizations that make this happen, from Crayola to school district personnel, including the Easton Police Department,” says Slingerland.
“Our bicycling behavior surveys show that cyclists in Easton consistently stop at red lights and travel the same direction as other vehicles on the road significantly more often than cyclists in Allentown. We believe cyclists ride better in Easton because of the bicycle education programming coming through and financed by support from Genesis Bicycles,” says CAR-FREE CAT Director, Steve Schmitt.
And it’s not just the money for bike education in the schools, says Schmitt. Genesis Bicycles holds more than 400 group rides every year, provides State Bicycle Drivers Manuals to all new bike owners, conducts clinics on shifting and flat-fixing, plus certifies ride leaders as League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors. Hinchcliff is making a difference, helping to preserve bicycle culture in the Lehigh Valley.