MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Pedal Power MN has a motto: Learn to bike. Bike to learn.
But you can't do that without bikes. The nonprofit says thieves stole their trailer, along with their fleet of 30 bikes inside of it on Thursday night.
"My co-founder Susan Tuck and I, we put a lot of our life into that and to have that happen is just a gut punch," said Mark Trumper, co-founder of Pedal Power MN.
The two teachers at Pillsbury Elementary School in northeast Minneapolis started Pedal Power MN in 2012. They noticed many of their fourth and fifth graders didn't know how to ride a bike.
"About a third of the kids coming into fourth grade don't know how to ride a bike at all. So we taught everybody how to ride a bike and then we got out on the road," Trumper explained. "One of the things we do is we bring the outdoors to children of color and we want to help teach them that the parks that we have — that we all love in Minneapolis — are their parks."
Thursday night, someone called Minneapolis police around 10:20 p.m. to report males trying to break into a trailer near 22nd and Garfield Street NE.
"I drove over there at 7 o'clock this morning and it was gone. The 30 bikes and the trailer and all. So we're devastated," Trumper said.
The unmarked trailer was parked next to their new one in the Pillsbury parking lot across from the school.
They had been building up their fleet of school bikes over the years through small grants and donations. Trumper estimates it would cost about $21,000 to replace it all.
Their losses include:
- 21 silver front suspension Cannondale Trail 6 24" mountain bikes (mtb)
- 4 small adult black Cannondale Trail 6 26" front suspension mtb
- 3 adult small white Cannondale Trail 6 front suspension mtb with racks
- 2 Cannondale Trail 6 29ers with racks on back, one XL and one S frame size
- Bike pumps, reflective vests, cable locks
The theft happened on Give to the Max Day. Trumper said they had raised about $1,500 and were planning to use the money to buy a couple of new bikes, including a tandem one for kids with special needs.
If you'd like to help, you can donate here.
While the pandemic has put the program on hold, they typically bike year-round.
"After what all the kids in Minneapolis have been through this year, that's just so hard to hear about that," Trumper said.
Minneapolis police confirmed it is investigating the theft. If you have any information that could help, contact police.