Trips for Kids Mid-Columbia Rides into Washington State
David Spaulding was first introduced to Trips for Kids ten years ago while working for REI in Denver. “Representatives from Trips for Kids Denver came to our work location to talk to some of our employees and made us aware they were in need of volunteers for an upcoming ride.” After learning more about the program, David was motivated to help out. “There were about 25 kids there that day. Some were really excited and some not so much, but I got to watch their attitudes transform throughout the ride and it really resonated with me.” Although that ride took place ten years ago, David shared, “That one afternoon was so impactful to me that I knew that very day I wanted to start a Trips for Kids program when I moved to Washington.”
Even before his time as an REI manager, David Spaulding’s passion has been biking, and his enthusiasm for it is contagious. Since his move to Washington state, David has long desired to share this enthusiasm with the Tri-Cities community along the mighty Columbia River, connected by 23+ miles of rivershore trail - Kennewick, Pasco and Richland.
Several years ago, he purchased a fleet of commuter bikes and opened the area’s first rental shop. David hoped to energize the locals and area visitors by capitalizing on the beauty of the river, the availability of scenic trails, and by offering a family-friendly alternative to running or walking.
The following year, David realized his dream of opening the full service Liberation Bike Shop in historic downtown Kennewick. A popular sales and repair shop, Liberation embodied David’s vision in its name, as David hoped to enticed store visitors to find new freedom on the seat of a bicycle. Still, there was something missing... and a year later, David opened up the area’s first community bike shop. Wheelhouse Community Bike Shop is a nonprofit community cooperative offering rentals and sales, classes, community programs, youth programs, bike recycling, volunteer events, and advocates for the growing Tri-Cities bicycling community. Wheelhouse is also a full- service shop, offering tune-ups, customized bike and seat-fitting services, and regional biking information.
After all those years, David decided he could also build on his vision by opening his own Trips for Kids chapter and on Sunday, March 17, 2019, Trips for Kids Mid-Columbia held it's inaugural ride.
It has taken some time to get to a position where he is able to offer programming in his area, but he can’t wait to get started. “I was happy to see that Trips for Kids offers a menu of programs including their Discovery Trails Rides and Adventure Club programs, Earn-a-Bike Workshops, Mobile Bike Clinics, and ReCyclery Bike Shops. We have been working towards setting up these kinds of programs at our shop and felt a Trips for Kids chapter would fit well with our existing community bike programs.”
The Mid-Columbia chapter works with youth ages 10-17, serving local elementary and middle schools with many of their kids coming from lower or middle-income families, along with some who are at risk and children of immigrant families from Africa and other countries. Trips for Kids mid-Columbia offers Discovery Trails as part of their Mobile Bike Clinics.
The first ride was such as success that they already have their second ride scheduled for Sunday, April 14!
“We are truly pleased that David was able to witness our programming firsthand before he got started. It speaks volumes that he had such a wonderful experience with our Denver chapter, so much so that he was driven to bring our programming to his own community through his bike shop,” states Robert Alan Ping, executive director of Trips for Kids National Team. “We are excited to work with David and his chapter as they begin their journey with our Trips for Kids family.”
Please join us in welcoming David and his team into our family and wish him luck on their first rides of the season.