ROC Freedom Riders gives bikes to kids

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Rochester bicycling community is inviting kids to come out on the road with new bikes. ROC Freedom Riders went out on Christmas morning to surprise some young bicyclists with new wheels. The group handed out over $2,000 worth of brand new bikes to a few kids in the city who were nominated by their community.

One of this year’s winners, 15-year-old Dennis Welch, carries almost a 4.0 GPA in school. He survived COVID, and sadly, his other bike was stolen.

"They gave me a new bike, I was so shocked, and I’m just so thankful because my previous bike, tragedy it was stolen,” Welch said.

10-year-old Jymare Francis, another winner, outgrew his old set of wheels. He rides with kids in the community and wants to learn how to repair bikes.

"Merry Christmas everyone, have a good day,” Francis said in all smiles.

Members of the group Roc Freedom Riders wanted to add something extra under the tree for communities that could use a Christmas lift.

“We wanted to give kids and teens in Rochester in Black and Brown neighborhoods the opportunity to bike with us in the new year,” Rashad Smith said, co-founder of the group.

ROC Freedom Riders is an organization that utilizes community bike rides to positively impact the lives of people in the city.

"Not just doing it as a thing, but doing it, because we wanted to do something from the heart for our neighborhood,” Smith added.

Founders of the group tell us they wish they could have given out bikes to everyone, and are working on being able to give more riding into 2022.