Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hello Everyone,

Kenn here.  I wanted to share something a few great things with you that are on the top of my mind.

The last two days, our friends at Diamond Tool (www.DiamondTool.net) were able to get a skid steer (aka Bobcat, mini front loader) the pumptrack to use for moving vast quantities of rock, dirt, mulch and wood chips.  Which means, no kids volunteering.

Our little friend Micah wheeled over from Parkside to volunteer (and hopefully ride), only to be turned away by me with regrets. "Sorry, buddy, we can't have kids around while the machine is running.  But we only have it for a day, so come back tomorrow." The look on his face was devastating as we turned him away.

Long story short, we needed the machine for an extra day.  And Micah came back today at his usual time. And unfortunately, he was turned away again.

I don't know who was more heartbroken - him or me?  Knowing how he feels about wanting to be part of something so much, but not being able to - I wish I could have figured out a way to have him help out.

Earlier this week, Stephen stopped in.  He's a senior at Martin Luther King High School. He asked if he could help out, and immediately we said "SURE!". He grabbed a pair of gloves and was there until dark.

Stephen made it out today again on his bike this evening, and dug, and rode, dug some more, cleaned up trash, and helped rake wood chips.  He was having some issues with his chain jumping, and Harlan helped him out, but the equipment was worn.  As it started raining, I asked where he was from (expecting Parkside or Wynnefield - which is the norm).  I was shocked to hear, "Germantown".

Imagine the surprise I felt when this young man rode his hand-me-down-bmx bike over 7 miles, on a week night, to come to volunteer at the pumptrack!

And that is the amazing part about the Philly Pumptrack...  Kids are doing everything they can to get to the track. Many of the regular volunteers are people I've never met before in my 20 years of cycling. Our work is stopped many times a day with drivers stopping by and asking what we are doing.

We aren't really changing anything, just making it accessible.

NOTE: We gave Stephen a ride home so he didn't have to make that long trip home in the rain.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Volunteers, sponsors, community members - and of course - Heidi and Harlan.

I love this.  :-)

Kenn

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