Advocating for Kids Riding Bikes with Kickstarter Book Launch
Indy made up this song around two and a half years old, scooting herself around the kitchen on her pedal-less toddler bike. Her bike was the center of her entertainment in the center of our house for two years. She sang that song hundreds of times, which you’ll hear me spontaneously perform live in this episode.
On today’s Dharma & Dollars show local Teton Valley Idaho resident, Jannine Fitzgerald talks about her family’s kids bike advocacy work in the world. She and her husband Scott are in the homestretch of their second kickstarter campaign to fund their second kid’s book which serves as a tool for bike advocacy.
Belief #1: Bikes are freedom machines that build experiences and values that become the foundation of lifelong success and happiness.
Belief #2: The # of kids riding bikes is declining.
Belief #3: Media drives beliefs and behaviors.
I rap with Jannine Fitzgerald about Kid’s Bike Advocacy:
- The crisis in tech over wheels
- The doors that open for bicycle riders
- How bikers see the world differently
What you’ll get out of tuning in:
- Thinking about a kickstarter campaign for your book? Get an inside scoop.
- Getting books into shops, magazines, Amazon
- How to rent a car instead of a bike for your next trip!
- Buddy Pegs
- Buddy Pegs YouTube Channel
- B is for Bicycles: Children’s Alphabet Book
- Bis for Bicycles Facebook
- 3:45 The amount of kids riding bicycles has declined significantly in the past 20 years due to busy schedules, fear, lack of bike pathways, and other reasons.
- 6:10 There are many different ways of getting a book onto the market: Kickstarter campaigns, distributing to niche shops and online sources, and Amazon. Some sources are more accessible to specific demographics than others, and it’s important to choose which ones will best reach the desired audience.
- 11:00 Bicycles provide a sense of resilience, independence, and freedom for adults and children alike. Riding is a great way to connect to the surrounding environment, and provides a freedom completely distinct from walking or taking a car.
- 16:25 Training wheels may not be the best way to teach kids how to ride a bike: for most kids, it’s easier to use a two-wheel balance bike without pedals and then move to one with pedals, because the pedaling movement comes much easier than balance.
- 23:30 Kids need to learn how to ride, how to use hand signals, how to be cognizant of obstacles on the road, and how to pay attention to traffic early on in order to be confident in these skills as an adult.
- 29:35 Jannine outlines how she and her husband used the Kickstarter campaign process to produce their first, and now second, book: they had the outline and story written, but needed the money for the illustrations, which is what the Kickstarter campaign provides.
- “The connection to the neighborhood that I have now from being on the bike… the whole experience was so different because I chose to rent a bike.” – Cate Stillman
- “When you get on the bike…, you’re going to notice so much more what’s surrounding you, and engage so much more with the environment.” – Jannine Fitzgerald
- “People are often embarrassed by what they don’t know, so they play it safe.” – Cate Stillman
- “Get them on their bikes young.” – Jannine Fitzgerald
- “We see these kids who have that feeling of glide, and really a different relationship to balance and gravity.” – Cate Stillman
In 2015, Scott and Jannine Fitzgerald decided to sell their shop, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, which they had owned and operated since 2002. While running the store, Scott and Jannine saw, time and time again, the positive impacts bicycles have on people of all ages, as well as communities as a whole.
What they came to refer to as ‘the Power of the Bicycle’, took hold of them over the years and led to the launch of Buddy Pegs, their new company.
Buddy Pegs was created to connect kids (and parents) to the building blocks of lifelong happiness through the power of the bicycle.
Their first product, a children’s alphabet book titled B is for Bicycles, is their first foray into the media market. This children’s book was successfully funded via Kickstarter in 2014, and brought to life in 2015.
The Fitzgerald’s are now taking their passion for bicycle advocacy outside of their home in the Tetons (Jackson Hole, WY / Teton Valley, ID), and across the world. By creating bicycle experiences for kids, and their parents, Scott and Jannine plan on showing how the bicycle really can be a simple solution to the world’s most complex problems. And just a lot of fun!