Angela Stamps—Flint's driving force (on two wheels)

FLINT, Michigan—In the basement of Berston Field House, down the stairs and in the reclaimed men’s locker room, you will find her: The Bike Lady.

Meet Angela Stamps, a 47-year-old Detroit native and dedicated Flint transplant. She loves bicycling and her community. Perhaps as much as anyone you can meet around Flint, she is driven to make a difference. She's just driving on two wheels to do it.

Her goal: “To see the next generation thrive and survive.”
 
Sitting here today, her biggest issue is she wants to do more. Keep in mind, she’s already given away 95 bikes and ridden 2,131 miles since founding the Berson Bicycle Club in 2012. 

It’s not enough for Stamps, though, who is working to double her current club enrollment. 

Stamps, an eastside resident, also runs iBikeParks, bicycle clinics open to all ages and skill levels with bikes and helmets provided; sells used bicycles; runs lawn care programs; and is hoping to start a winter biking program.

Ends up, though, that Stamps has not always been a bicyclist. She started biking in 2006 in Los Angeles. Her first bike was a gift from her boyfriend after her car was repossessed. She has been riding year-round ever since.

And, giving back to her community.

“Angela is so much fun. She motivates you, talks with you during the rides—keeps you in line—but also jokes around with you,” said Jalen Key, 16, one of 13 current Berston Bike Club members.

Every meeting, her club members learn different aspects of bicycling—how to properly wear a helmet or how to use hand signals. And every club meeting day, they go for a ride—sometimes riding all the way to Flushing or Grand Blanc.

This club is completely free and open to anyone from age 10 to 18.

At the end of the two-month club, every club member gets to keep their bike, an entire package of gear (including helmet, bike lights, bike bag, reflective vest, bike chain and tire patches), and a lot of fun memories.

Her impact can be seen throughout the city, with kids like Jalen discovering a new love of bicycling—as well as in the bike lanes on Saginaw Street and a noticeable increase in the number of bicyclists in town.

Stamps uses the rides as an opportunity to strengthen the kids physically and teach other lessons, including how to plan their routes.

Parent Linda Hopkins also notices how Stamps teaches time management and organization. She especially loves that it gives the kids something to do over the summer and the opportunity to meet new people. 

“Angela is a breath of fresh air,” said Hopkins, a family engagement facilitator in Flint who has recommended the program for years to other parents and whose own daughter is attending this year. 

When the club started, Stamps initially was buying bikes from pawn shops and rummage sales. Now they are exclusively donated. Most recently by the Clio Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, and Genesee Parks.

The current Berston Bike Club session runs through June 30. A second session runs July 10 to Sept. 8. The current session includes 13 members, but Stamps said she wishes she had 25 in the group. 

The program iBikeParks is 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays at Max Brandon Park in Pavilion 2, 6-8 p.m. Thursdays at Bluebell Beach in Pavilion 1, and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays at Holmes S.T.E.M Academy.

For more information on Angela Stamps and her programs you can visit her Facebook page, Angie’s Bikes, or her website, www.kentakee.org.