Little 500 bike build at Indiana University to benefit Bloomington nonprofit

Delta team joining IU students to build about 50 bikes Thursday

  • April 13, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Organizers of a bicycle build at Indiana University hope they’re establishing a new tradition adding to the cycling and philanthropic aspects of Little 500: benefiting a local Bloomington nonprofit organization.

Thursday afternoon, IU student volunteers will team up with employees from IU Student Foundation partner Delta Air Lines to build about 50 new bikes in a range of sizes and colors at Alumni Hall, in the Indiana Memorial Union.

IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie will participate in the build, which takes place in two sessions, one beginning at 4:30 p.m. and another at 6 p.m.

The Little 500 races take place Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, at Bill Armstrong Stadium on the Bloomington campus. This year marks the 29th running of the women's Little 500 and the 66th running of the men's race. The women's Little 500 will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, and the men's race will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Philanthropy always has been at the heart of Little 500, which supports scholarships for working IU students. Expanding on the races' philanthropic tradition, a group of Bloomington-area young people will receive the bicycles in a surprise reveal before the women’s Little 500.

“This is a great partnership between the IU Student Foundation and Delta, benefitting young people in our community,” said McRobbie, who founded Women’s Philanthropy at IU. “I’m honored to be a part of it.”

McRobbie will kick off the women’s race April 15 by completing a pre-ceremony lap on a bicycle.

Delta’s TechOps team in Atlanta assembled nearly 700 bikes in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots mission last year, and members of the TechOps team will be on hand Thursday to lend their expertise.

“Delta is proud to partner with IU and thrilled to participate in the excitement of Little 500 through this first-ever ‘Build-a-Bike’ event during race weekend,” said Jake Abel, general manager of university marketing for Delta. “It’s a fun way for IU students to give back and to promote health and wellness to additional members of this great community. We are looking forward to giving students, alums and Little 500 fans a new opportunity to get to know our airline.”   

The IU Student Foundation provides opportunities for philanthropic leadership to thousands of undergraduate IU students, primarily by sponsoring campus events that foster enthusiasm and support for IU. Founded in 1950 by the IU Foundation, the IU Student Foundation raises money to fund student scholarships, an effort largely supported by the organization’s flagship event, the Little 500 bicycle race. These meaningful undergraduate experiences help create loyal, involved IU alumni who support the university for the rest of their lives.

Media Contacts

George Vlahakis

  • IU Communications
  • Office 812-855-0846
  • Cell 812-345-1500
  • IU Inc.

Bethan Roberts

  • IU Foundation
  • Office 812-855-6796