Last month, the Channel 4 cameras followed the LA Leadership Academy Bike Club — aka LALA Bike Club — on one its Friday after-school rides through their Lincoln Heights neighborhood. The story was featured during the station’s popular “Life Connected” segment, which profiles community do-gooders.
Last week, Channel 7 came out to do a similar shoot with veteran sports reporter/anchor Curt Sandoval. That piece is expected to air later this week.
The club was established four years ago by PE teacher David Villanueva and Andreas Krumpl, a 6th grade math/science teacher. The two teachers/friends were empathetic and understood a lot of the issues their students were telling them about their troubled home lives so they decided to start a Bike Club so that kids would have an after-school social activity and could avoid/fight the negative influences infesting their community like gangs, drugs, homelessness and racism in order to inspire and teach their students that there is a positive path to achieve their dreams and goals in a safe, secure and healthy environment.
Simultaneously, two-time U.S. Olympic cyclist Giddeon Massie has been mentoring kids at L.A. Leadership Academy for several years through his involvement in ReadySetGold, a program which invites local Olympians and Paralympians to visit LAUSD school classes or assemblies to talk about physical fitness, healthy lifestyle choices and their personal anecdotes that bring the Olympic Games and Olympic ideals into the world of the students.
Massie often particpates in Bike Club activities and rode alongside the 40 or so students on their recent ride with the television crew in tow.
The Bike Club originally started with just a handful of students, but with hard work, perseverance and Giddeon planting the seed of using bicycles and bicycling as a motivating force, the club has grown substantially to nearly 50 members.
The Club has operated solely off donations of bikes, equipment and apparel. They recently launched a website, www.LALABikeClub.com.