Bond with Your Team While Building Bikes for Charity

If you are pondering how to mix adventure, team building, and serving others into one event, then I have a cool idea for you!  Let me tell you about a Build A Bike Charity event put on by The Go Games.  You can incorporate this into a week long team session or do this as a stand alone event.

What is a Bike Building Event?  Simply put, it is an exciting game where small teams compete with other teams to earn points and build bikes that are then donated to deserving children.

Before I tell you more about the process, let me share with you some of the fun outcomes of this 2-hour experience.

Extraordinary Outcomes
  1. Members of a large team bond and develop connections.
  2. The team is fully energized (adrenaline will be pumping).
  3. The team experiences the intrinsic reward of doing something special for needy and deserving children.
  4. Fun memories that last forever in a capstone video montage.

Here’s an overview of the process, which is run by professional facilitators who know how to make this fun and will take care of all the planning for you.

Instructions
  1. Invite everyone on the team to a surprise event and leave them in suspense.
  2. Small teams of 5-8 are formed and each team is given an iPhone with a special app ready to go.
  3. These teams perform a variety of challenges to earn points and ultimately a bike kit to build. (Making silly videos, answering trivia questions, etc.)
  4. Once the team earns their bike kit, they build it.
  5. All bikes are ridden through an obstacle course and must pass an inspection.
  6. The team decorates their bike with crepe paper, balloons, and signs.
  7. Additional points can be earned to earn more bike kits.
  8. At the end of the time frame (about 2 hours), you’ll have a collection of Huffy bikes to donate to a local charity or school.
  9. (Optional): invite the children who will receive the bikes to the end of your event and present the bikes to them immediately.
  10. Later, watch a funny video with pictures and videos from the team challenges to relive the experience.

I’ve experienced this event twice and both events were fantastic.  Some of the activities teams do to win points include; making funny videos, taking creative photographs, trivia questions (which can be customized to your team), and even helping other teams. 

Example #1 Team Bonding

The first event where I experienced a bike build had about 80 people from all over the globe. Collectively, we built about 30 bikes (that’s 2-4 bikes per team).  We were put together with our new project team as a bonding experience.

After all the bikes were built, the organizers surprised us again. They moved us to a room filled with children and their parents awaiting their brand new bike.  We discovered that these children were selected by their elementary school Principal for Perfect Attendance and Good Citizenship.  Each child’s name was called out and someone from the team who built the bike presented that bike to the child while the room cheered.  Tears were shed by most of us because it was very touching.

Example #2 Building Relationships

In the second example, I was facilitating a session that involved both team building and training. We hired The Go Games to come and facilitate this event on the second evening of a week-long team event. This event included 42 extended team members divided into 8 groups of 5.  The people in these groups were mixed by role and location in order to build relationships across the extended team. Each team performed a series of silly and hilarious activities to earn points to build two bikes.  One team even built a bonus bike.

In the end, this team built and donated 17 bikes to a local Boys and Girls Club who used them to incentivize children in a school literacy program.  On the last day of the off-site, this team watched a 15-minute video montage of the event and relived all the fun, joy, and excitement together. This team had the Boys and Girls Club come and pick up the bikes directly from the conference center.

The Go Games facilitator who was highly skilled, energetic and she oversaw a team that inspected the bikes.  If desired, The Go games will help you find a charity to donate the bikes.

Summary

If you are looking for a memorable and meaningful, fun team building activity, I strongly recommend the Build a Bike for Charity event with The Go Games.

Note: There are other organizations that also organize and facilitate bike builds, but I have experienced The Go Games as a participant and a facilitator and they are amazing. I am not a paid sponsor of The Go Games, nor compensated in any way for this blog.

About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing. Learn about her Better Teams Model and Team Assessment here.

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Comments 2

  1. Thanks for this idea, Leigh Ann! Fun idea!

    I did something similar several years ago with about 50 people divided into several teams, building train tables for vets’ kids. And we presented the completed tables to vets who then took the tables to the kids. I was facilitating a group of electrical engineers, and they LOVED the hands-on work of the train tables. And since they were building something for a charitable organization, they rallied around it and got past thinking it was “silly” and not “real work.” It was inspiring and bonding.

    1. Post
      Author

      Robin – thank you for sharing this idea. What an an amazing team building event – I’m sure they still remember it vividly.

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