Wilmette, Community

Pull out those old bikes and donate them to Pedal Power on Saturday, May 20

Pedal Power is back — and just in time for spring cleaning.

The Wilmette nonprofit is again urging residents to donated used bicycles in an effort to reward successful students in Chicago.

Traditionally a fall event, Pedal Power’s annual bike drive is in the spring this year, and bicycles will be collected on Saturday, May 20, at five locations in the northern suburbs.

The donated bikes will then get delivered to the students just in time for summer break.

As an 8-year-old, Nicole Basil started Pedal Power in 2008 in Wilmette. Each year, Nicole and her family collected bikes and donated them to honor roll students at Cesar E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center, a Chicago Public Schools institution. 

Nicole and her brother, Bennett, led Pedal Power until they each went to college. 

In 2019, Owen and Cailyn Fitzgerald, who had volunteered with Pedal Power in previous years, took over the project.

“We keep it going. It’s a great way for our community to influence these kids who may not have these opportunities,” said Cailyn Fitzgerald, now a junior at New Trier High School.

In November 2021, the last Pedal Power event, the Fitzgeralds helped collect and donate more than 300 bikes. They said more than 5,000 bikes have been given to Chicago students in Pedal Power’s 13 years.

“It’s a lot of bikes. That’s a big number,” Owen Fitzgerald said.

To donate a bicycle for Pedal Power, visit one of these locations from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, May 20:

• Wilmette Bike Shop, 605 Green Bay Road, Wilmette

• Green Bay Cycles, 999 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

• Kiddles Sports, 258 Market Square, Lake Forest

• George Garner Cyclery, 1111 Waukegan Road, Northbrook

• George Garner Cyclery, 740 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

For more information on Pedal Power, visit Gopedalpower.com.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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