ST. CLOUD -- More central Minnesota kids are going to have the chance to learn how to ride a bicycle next year.

Thanks to a Safe Routes to School Bike Fleet grant from the Minnesota Department of Transporation, Feeling Good Minnesota (formerly known as Blend) will be able to buy a fleet of bicycles, a trailer, and supplies.

Feeling Good Minnesota is a community collaborative of CentraCare Health. Kathy Geislinger is the program manager at Feeling Good Minnesota. She says the bicycle fleet will be funded through the grant dollars as well as the organization.

"This bicycle fleet is the value of about $42,000. $30,000 of which MnDot is helping us fund to help us pay for those tangibles, like the bikes, the helmet the trailer. What CentraCare Health and Feeling Good Minnesota will fund is the ongoing maintenance. This is a five-year commitment to ensure that we have a well-maintained bicycle fleet, that our schools, communities and youth-serving agencies can use."

The bicycle fleet will be available where CentraCare Health has service areas, which is throughout most of central Minnesota.

Geislinger says the bike fleet will be a great tool to help teach kids how to be safe while riding.

"At Feeling Good Minnesota we support infrastructure. We want more safe sidewalks and bicycle trails. But the piece that we forget about is the education, sometimes our communities, our schools need access to well-maintained bikes in order to teach the education."

Feeling Good Minnesota plans to introduce the bicycle fleet at its annual Earth Day run in April 2019.

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