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Reader Opinion: Ready to ride

It was interesting to read your front-page article of "Ready to Ride" about receiving a $50,000 grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Committee Legacy Fund to buy 60 bicycles for Garfield Elementary Students. What is the school doing with all of th...

It was interesting to read your front-page article of "Ready to Ride" about receiving a $50,000 grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Committee Legacy Fund to buy 60 bicycles for Garfield Elementary Students. What is the school doing with all of this funding? I recently was looking at kids bicycles in the Brainerd/Baxter area and Target had a similar looking 24-inch or 26-inch Kent 21 speed mountain bike for $79 each, plus you could extend the warranty for the second year for another $14 for a total cost of $93 per bicycle. Mills Fleet Farm and Walmart also carry similar kids bicycles in the $80 to $150 range. Taking the highest cost ones at $150 each the school would have only spent ($150 per bicycle for 60 of them) a total of $9,000. So, what is the other $41,000 being used for? Even if the Trek bikes were bought for $300 each that is still only $18,000 of the $50,000 grant. The helmets are being donated by Essentia Health. I can't believe it will cost $41,000 to have a school bus, take the kids to the start of their trail ride and bring them back from Nisswa plus hiring a semi-truck (or other suitable vehicle) to transport the bicycles. The teachers accompanying the students are already being paid and then there should be some volunteer adults as chaperones plus the cost for lunch. So why isn't the school getting 200 or more bicycles (200 at $150 each equals $30,000) which still leaves $20,000 for the other expenses? If the kids are able to keep the bikes, then I question the need for them to get a top of the line Trek bike as most of them will outgrow the 24-inch bike in a couple of years.

Chad Converse

Motley

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