- Associated Press - Saturday, November 17, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Black Hills Harley-Davidson has donated hundreds of bicycles to schools across Rapid City.

Rapid City Area Schools, the Rapid City Council, Rapid City-based Strider Bikes and the Black Hills Harley-Davidson all gathered last week to assemble the 375 Strider Bikes that the local Harley dealership gifted to the district. The Strider Bikes were delivered to every kindergarten physical education class in the district to be incorporated into their curriculum.

The bicycles require minimal set-up. It took only an hour to assemble all the bikes.

The company’s nonprofit Strider Education Foundation hopes the partnership with Rapid City schools will help spark others across the country, encouraging students to use bikes to learn fitness and have fun.

“Black Hills Harley-Davidson’s generous donation of 375 Strider Bikes will give every kindergartner in our district an opportunity to experience the lifelong benefits of knowing how to ride a bike,” said Lori Simon, the district’s superintendent.

Simon said studies show riding a bike also benefits student learning, development and mental health.

Danny Janklow, principal at Meadowbrook Elementary School, said he’s excited about integrating the new Strider bikes.

“We have a very large special needs population, so I can see everyone using them,” he said. “We just want the students to get out and enjoy themselves and get physically active.”

Al Rieman, co-owner of Black Hills Harley-Davidson, said the initiative works with the company’s efforts to attract 2 million new riders over the next decade.

“This is a real tangible way that we can move toward that effort of building new riders. With this program, we’re starting at the very beginning,” he said. “Riding a bike is a life-long endeavor. This is something they can pick up again at any time in their life for bicycling or motorcycling, anything that uses two wheels.”

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