Pedal Empowerment

Aaron woods, bike
Aaron Woods, checking out his new bike. Rides For Kids program. (EN Strassmann).

All the kids at the Trips for Kids program in Charlotte, N.C., are riding a dream: the chance to pedal and break on their very own bike, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports.

Aaron Woods, 15, and his 8-year-old sister Skyler are, like all the kids here, trying to impress "Mister Terry."

Forty-two year old Terry Lansdell, a professional rider for 15 years, runs the program.

Every one of the bikes is donated, and they often show years of neglect.

"We have rusty bikes," Lansdell said. "We have dusty bikes. We like dusty bikes."

Volunteers recycle them. Some are sold, and the profits pay not to give kids a bike, but to let them earn one. In six hours of required classes, they learn the bike's parts and how they work - and safety.

Over three years, 200 kids have left with a bike. Often they are from families like Aaron and Skyler's, struggling financially.

"Money is a factor," said Corrender Tabron, their mother.

"And without this program, would they have bikes?" Strassmann asked.

"No," she said.

But Skyler does.

And Aaron?

"This is just perfect," said Aaron, scoping out a bike.

"Like a grown man looks at a car. He says, 'Hey man, that's my car. I worked and paid for that car.' That's the same thing for this bike I'm getting," Aaron said.

Pride in ownership - it's also the lesson Lansdell is teaching.

"And to see them ride for the first time? That's good stuff, that's why I'm here," Lansdell said.

  • strassmannbio2011.jpg
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.