A "spicy" t-shirt sale means new bikes for kids in need

Photo Courtesy: Hot Chicken Takeover / Facebook

Who knew spicy fried chicken could benefit those in need?

A group of teens and young adults now have their own bikes thanks to a partnership between Hot Chicken Takeover, Yay! Bikes of Columbus, Franklinton Cycle Works and Kaleidoscope Youth Center.

"We have kids, I believe anywhere from the age of 12 to 20 in the program," said Jonathan Ryder, a volunteer for Franklinton Cycle Works. "That is a perfect age, in that range, to sort of get out and start exploring around your neighborhood and to use that bike as transportation."

From May 1to June 18, HCT sold limited-edition Pride t-shirts and donated $5 of each sale to Kaleidoscope. The sales were so successful, the youth center was able to start a cycle club.

The cycle club teaches LGBTQ teens and young adults how to ride and maintain their bikes, and cycling laws for the road.

"The ABC's of bicycling: So we get through air, brakes and chain. And that's essentially the moving components of a bicycle," said Ryder. "Part of our mission to is to keep bikes out of the dumpster. So many people, if their bike is broken, they just throw it away."

Yay! Bikes is teaching the group of youth about safety and how to bike with car traffic.

"I would have to say thanks because...this is a really great opportunity," said Stacey, who is taking part in the program.

Stacey says a new bike will mean reliable transportation and a sense of independence.

"I can stop asking my grandparents to give me a ride places and I can just ride my bike to get there," she said.

Organizers at Kaleidoscope say the cycle club is strictly run on donations. They hope to offer the program again next year, but it will depend on community contributions.