zero to ten with eric supil

For some, a bike might be a way to exercise, a way to get around or a way to enjoy a nice afternoon. Bikes might provide a way to explore a neighborhood or city in a different way, or connect with others who also love zooming around on two weeks.

For Eric Supil, executive director of Charlotte nonprofit Trips for Kids, bikes are all of that and so much more.

Which is kind of funny when you learn that Eric didn’t learn how to ride a bike until he was 14 years old. Even after he did learn to ride, he was never that into it. But then he moved from Charlotte, where he grew up, to Boston after college. At a self-described “weird” time in his life, Eric was able to connect with his new city, work through what was going on in his head and find an organization that meant a lot to him: Bikes Not Bombs, another biking-focused nonprofit.

He started out as a volunteer with that organization but moved up and ultimately ended up working there for 6 years before moving back to Charlotte. He quickly got engrained with Trips for Kids, which aims to teach kids ages 9-15 confidence, independence and liberation through biking.

They do this through three main programs:

  1. Ride Program – The goal with this one is simple: get kids outside and exploring greenways and mountain areas on bikes.
  2. The Charlotte Recyclery – This arm of the organization reclaims bikes that have been discarded and transforms them into opportunities to teach people how to work on them and create reused bikes to go back out into the world.
  3. The Earn A Bike Program – There are a few iterations of this program in the organization so that folks of all ages and even families can earn their own bikes and safety gear by taking a bike safety program.

“Biking, in a very simple form, is a way to be self-sufficient and self-empowered,” Eric says. “No matter what’s going on I can hp on my bike and go places, I can also get exercise which also gives me awesome endorphins, but it’s also a meditation for me. It really clears my mind to be able to get on a bike completely reliant of my pedal powered power and go wherever I want to go.”

You can listen to our full conversation with Eric above, or by searching for Zero to Ten wherever you like to listen to your podcasts. You can learn more about Trips for Kids and the many things they do by heading to their website.

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