Exposure

The San Francisco 49ers Become Bike Mechanics for a Day

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Photo: Sam Wiebe

Earlier this year, Optum Pro Cycling teamed up with volunteers from healthcare company Optum, the San Francisco 49ers, and California-based non-profit Turning Wheels for Kids to build and distribute 50 bikes—with helmets and locks—to students of the 49ers Academy, which enrolls middle school students in unique educational programs. It was an interesting sight seeing 300-plus-pound lineman and 130-pound pro cyclists wrenching shoulder to shoulder on a Raleigh or Diamondback bike.

Photo: Sam Wiebe
New Optum rider for 2016 Evan Huffman, who spent two seasons racing in the WorldTour, opened his tenure with the team at the event. "I've never done anything like this," he said.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
50 bikes were built, checked by professional mechanics, and packed up to meet their new owners.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Runningback Kendall Gaskins puts his hand-eye coordination to the test.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Brandon, 7th grade, chats with rookie Garrison Smith.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Optum pro cyclist Jesse Anthony, tight end Kyle Nelson, and punter Bradley Pinion collaborated with Ashley, Hannah and Lelani on a few bikes.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Tight end Kyle Nelson is in his 4th season with the 49ers and has attended the bike build each of those years. Coincidence? We think not.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Optum pro cyclist Brad Huff shows off his tattoo, a tradition inside the peloton among riders committed to competing clean.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Players, volunteers from Optum, and kids from the 49ers Academy get down to business on one of the Raleigh bikes.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Lelani's bike gets a final inspection from two 49ers "mechanics."
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Optum pro cyclist Tom Soladay gets Mekemeke fitted with a new helmet. Each of the fifty new rides included a helmet and bike lock.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Time to fly around Levi's Stadium, the 49ers new 1.3 billion dollar field.
Photo: Sam Wiebe
Brandon, 7th grade, tests out his new ride. Smiles and bikes are inseparable.

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