Shop & Donate by Bike, a charity-themed Poky Pedal, kicks off the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar

Big news! The 2016 Bike Fun Calendar has been released and is now available on the PPSP website. Between mid-May and late September, we’ll be sharing a heap of Bike Fun. This year’s Poky Pedals will provide the usual gamut of historical, scenic, cultural, and whimsical themes.

Yet there is even bigger news!! The 2016 Bike Fun Calendar will kick off with PPSP’s first charity-themed Poky Pedal. Shop & Donate by Bike will visit three local shops and ask each Poky Pedaler to spend a total of $15 ($5 per shop) purchasing donation items. Once we’ve finished all our shopping, we’ll ride over to a local non-profit and donate to them everything we’ve purchased.

There is so much big news to share that one blog post isn’t enough. I’m going to focus on Shop & Donate by Bike now, and I’ll post about the rest of the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar in a future post.

Shop & Donate by Bike: Overview
Shop & Donate by Bike will meet on Saturday May 21 at 12:45 PM in Bukolt Park near the skate park. May 21 is also Bike to Shop Day, a counterpart of Bike to Work Day and Bike to School Day. Last year’s local celebration of Bike to Shop Day involved a rather intense game of Bingo as our Poky Pedal revealed comfortable routes to many area shops. This year on Bike to Shop Day, we will actually be going shopping by bicycle.

I got the idea for Shop & Donate by Bike after listening to a presentation from a Milwaukee bicycle group last fall at the Bike Summit organized by the Wisconsin Bike Fed. The Milwaukee group puts on a ride during which participants visit shops, purchase stuff, and finally deliver it all to a local non-profit.

I have wanted to organize some sort of charity-themed Poky Pedal for quite a while. Watching this presentation was the catalyst for implementing this concept as a Poky Pedal. Tying it into Bike to Shop Day was icing on the cake.

CAP pic lighter

CAP Services Family Crisis Center will be the non-profit that receives the donation items we purchase during Shop & Donate by Bike

On Shop & Donate by Bike, CAP Services Family Crisis Center will be the local non-profit that our Poky Pedal will benefit. Here is a brief overview of what they do:

CAP Services is a private, non-profit community action agency headquartered in Stevens Point that has been helping low-income people in Portage County and neighboring counties attain economic and emotional self-sufficiency since 1966.

The Family Crisis Center, encompassing some of the nearly three dozen programs offered by CAP Services, assists domestic abuse survivors and their children by providing a safe place to stay, legal advocacy services, and other support services. The FCC also provides short-term housing and intervention services to runaway youth. All services are free of charge and confidential.

For more information about CAP Services Family Crisis Center, visit their website at

I have been coordinating with CAP Services Family Crisis Center on the planning for Shop & Donate by Bike. Coincidentally, CAP Services is celebrating their 50th anniversary in May, and PPSP is honored that Shop & Donate by Bike is one of the events commemorating this special milestone.

Shop & Donate by Bike: What to expect
I want to give Poky Pedalers a general understanding of how Shop & Donate by Bike will work. At the start, we’ll identify shopping teams comprising 3-4 Poky Pedalers each. We will then set off on a 10-mile loop ride that will visit three shops via calm streets and non-motorized paths. We will ride in one contiguous group at our usual slow pace while obeying all traffic laws.

At each shop, your team will be given a list of items to purchase. Each Poky Pedaler will contribute $5 to their team’s pooled funds at each shop (please bring cash, preferably three $5 bills). Your team will then head into the shop and purchase the items on the list using these pooled funds. Once purchased, you will load your purchases onto the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier – more about this later. When all the teams have finished their shopping, we will hop back on our bikes and ride together to the next shop.

After our third shop, we will ride to CAP Services Family Crisis Center, where we’ll be met by a few of their staff. We’ll unload the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier and donate to these staff members our large pile of goods. By the way, CAP Services provided me with a lengthy list of items needed by the people they assist, so Poky Pedalers can be certain that the items we purchase and donate will be helpful to those in need.

Once we’ve completed our donation activities, I’ll ride back to our starting location with all those who wish to return there. I estimate we should get back to Bukolt Park by around 4PM.

I hope this gives Poky Pedalers a pretty good idea on how Shop & Donate by Bike will work. The one lingering thought you might have is: How are we going to haul all the stuff we purchase to CAP Services Family Crisis Center by bicycle?

trailer pic lighter

The PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier, hooked up to my Breezer Uptown 8 town bike

The PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier
I recently acquired a 5-foot-long flatbed bicycle trailer made by Bikes @ Work, a company with an excellent reputation for designing and building high-quality bicycle trailers. My trailer has a carrying capacity of 300 lbs and can conveniently carry eight 18-gallon cargo bins.

Three hundred pounds sounds like a lot to tow by bicycle, but it is actually a feasible amount to tow on a relatively flat route. The total bin volume is roughly equivalent to 3/4 of the bed of a small pickup truck.

Even with a record turnout for Shop & Donate by Bike – and I’m really hoping we see a record turnout – the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier should be able to easily handle both the weight and volume of our purchases.

Shop & Donate by Bike participation incentive: the extra PPSP donation
I always enjoy sharing Bike Fun with Poky Pedalers, but I will be particularly appreciative of the donations Poky Pedalers make to CAP Services Family Crisis Center on this ride.

To demonstrate my appreciation, PPSP will donate to CAP Services Family Crisis Center an additional $1 in cash for each donating Poky Pedaler on Shop & Donate by Bike, up to $100.

Can PPSP inspire 100 Poky Pedalers to turn out for Shop & Donate by Bike and max out my PPSP cash donation? This turnout would result in a total donation to CAP Services Family Crisis Center of $1600.


I would be thrilled if my efforts in organizing this charity-themed Bike Fun could result in that level of donation to one of our area’s most worthy and vital non-profit organizations. Help make this happen by sharing Bike Fun on Shop & Donate by Bike.

Shop & Donate by Bike: Summary
So let’s review. Shop & Donate by Bike on Saturday May 21 is a celebration of Bike to Shop Day benefitting CAP Services Family Crisis Center and will be one of the events commemorating CAP Services’ 50th anniversary. On our 10-mile loop ride, each Poky Pedaler will spend $5 at each of three shops – $15 total. We’ll load all the purchases onto the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier, haul it all over to CAP Services Family Crisis Center, and donate it all to them. And PPSP will chip in an additional one-dollar donation for each donating Poky Pedaler, up to $100.


This charity-themed Poky Pedal is one you won’t want to miss. I look forward to a sharing Bike Fun with a swarm of Poky Pedalers on Shop & Donate by Bike.

Don’t forget that Shop & Donate by Bike is just the first Poky Pedal of the year. You can see the full 2016 Bike Fun Calendar here. Keep an eye on the PPSP blog as I’ll have more to say about our other Poky Pedals in a future post.

Send feedback on this post by e-mail:


This entry was posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area. Bookmark the permalink.