Trips for Kids Welcomes Montana Chapter
Meet our newest chapter director Greg Holler-Dinsmore who oversees Trips for Kids Spirit of Life sponsored by Spirit of Life Ministries in Wolf Point, Montana. Greg has been involved with bicycles and bicycle touring for more than 50 years.
At the age of 16, Greg got his first job as a mechanic at the Schwinn Sylmar bike shop and 10 years later he and two partners purchased that shop. Greg has been a tour leader for Bikecentennial (now Adventure Cycling), is a league cycling instructor for the League of American Bicyclists, and he and his spouse, Christine, have toured world-wide for many years.
In 2014 he assisted in the implementation of a Safe Routes to School grant for the Brockton Schools on the Fort Peck Reservation (where he has lived for over 30 years). Through this grant the school purchased bicycle tools and supplies to work on the 100 bicycles they received from the City of Missoula Police Department. The program never fully got off the ground, but Greg learned a great deal from the experience and was determined to move forward with his vision.
In 2016 Greg was offered space at the Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC) to begin his dream of a community youth bicycle program, which became Spirit of Life Community Bike Shop. He was able to access the bikes, tools and supplies from Brockton Schools to begin this project. For two years the Community Bike Shop ran an Earn-A-Bike program with area 7-8th grade students in conjunction with the Wolf Point Schools, the Optimist Club of Wolf Point and First Lutheran Church. During this time the Community Bike Shop moved to a much larger space which has allowed them to set up a “Recyclery” where people can purchase refurbished bikes to provide financial support for the youth programming. This summer the shop will move into the new facility.
In 2016 Greg also began discussions with Trips for Kids to develop a ride program for underserved youth on the Fort Peck Reservation. “Trips for Kids provides us with the experience, network, knowledge and resources to make this a good and effective program,” shares Greg. Working with the Wolf Point Schools, the Tribal Diabetes Program, the Optimist Club, the Tribal Juvenile Detention Center and area churches Spirit of Life will launch their Trips for Kids Adventure Club Rides on the Fort Peck Reservation this summer. They are also working with Wolf Point High School to set-up a for credit bicycle mechanics program for high school youth modeled after one developed by Trips for Kids Full Cycle in Providence Rhode Island.
“Greg’s enthusiasm about starting his Trips for Kids Adventure Club program is infectious. We are truly pleased to add Greg’s knowledge and experience to our chapter network. He’s already riding in ‘head first,’ working with his chapter mentors, Ed Raff and Andrew Coburn from our Full Cycle chapter to enhance his programming. We are excited to welcome Greg, his wife Christine and his volunteers to our Trips for Kids family,” states Trips for Kids Executive Director, Robert Alan Ping.