Photo Essay | Building Bikes for a Better Tomorrow

On October 7th, Optum Pro Cycling teamed up with Plus One Health Management and Working Bikes to assemble 49 Diamondback Viper youth bicycles for distribution to underprivileged youth in the Chicago area. The bicycles reached their new owners thanks to Chicago-based 501(c)3 organization Working Bikes, who partners with homeless transition, refugee resettlement, and youth empowerment programs to put bicycles to good use on the streets of Chicago. Most of the volunteers had never built a bike – but thanks to help of team partners Park Tool and Diamondback, who provided simple-to-assemble frame sets, wheels, helmets, and tool kits, the event was a fun learning experience for all. The seminar also featured a talk and Q&A session with Optum p/b KBS sprinters Eric Young and Brad Huff, among other health & wellness professionals. The bike build was part of a multi-day health and wellness seminar for Plus One employees, who recently became the newest members of the Optum services family. Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business, a unique collection of people, capabilities and technologies dedicated to helping make the health care system work better for everyone.

Optum Pro Cycling sprinters Eric Young and Brad Huff speak to a packed house of Plus One Health Management and Optum employees about their experiences as professional bike racers, and what simple things they do to stay healthy.

Optum Pro Cycling sprinters Eric Young and Brad Huff speak to a packed house of Plus One Health Management and Optum employees about their experiences as professional bike racers, and what simple things they do to stay healthy.

Optum's Sr. Director of Alliance Management & Strategic Growth Initiatives Melissa Reilly addresses the conference during Eric Young and Brad Huff's Q&A session.

Optum’s Sr. Director of Alliance Management & Strategic Growth Initiatives Melissa Reilly addresses the conference during Eric Young and Brad Huff’s Q&A session.

Optum Pro Cycling team mechanic begins unpacking the 48 brand-new Diamondback Viper junior BMX bikes that would be built up that day.

Optum Pro Cycling team mechanic begins unpacking the 48 brand-new Diamondback Viper junior BMX bikes that would be built up that day.

The team's "I Ride Because" display featured a team issue Diamondback Podium Optum bicycle. The bike's design and componentry were big hits among Plus One's fitness specialists.

The team’s “I Ride Because” display featured a team issue Diamondback Podium Optum bicycle. The bike’s design and componentry were big hits among Plus One’s fitness specialists.

Optum Pro Cycling's Brad Huff demonstrates proper cable routing technique. Huff took the lead on guiding each group through the build process.

Optum Pro Cycling’s Brad Huff demonstrates proper cable routing technique. Huff took the lead on guiding each group through the build process.

Optum Pro Cycling team mechanic Andrew Neuser and a Plus One employee get to work on some handlebars with the help of some donated Park Tool equipment.

Optum Pro Cycling team mechanic Andrew Neuser and a Plus One employee get to work on some handlebars with the help of some donated Park Tool equipment.

This bicycle builder shared a great (and familiar) story about how riding his own bike was instrumental in kickstarting his fitness and helping him lose significant weight.

This bicycle builder shared a great (and familiar) story about how riding his own bike was instrumental in kickstarting his fitness and helping him lose significant weight.

Teamwork was key for the many first-time bike assemblers. Twisting an allan wrench for the first time can be a bit awkward.

Teamwork was key for the many first-time bike assemblers. Twisting an allan wrench for the first time can be a bit awkward.

Optum Pro Cycling Managing Director Charles Aaron was on hand to help with the bike builds.

Optum Pro Cycling Managing Director Charles Aaron was on hand to help with the bike builds.

All hands on deck! This group used healthy amount of teamwork to get their Diamondback into riding shape.

All hands on deck! This group used healthy amount of teamwork to get their Diamondback into riding shape.

Each group of builders wrote out a note to accompany each bike on its way to a proud new owner.

Each group of builders wrote out a note to accompany each bike on its way to a proud new owner.

He wasn't just lounging around – Eric Young double checked each and every headset after the bike came off the build stand.

He wasn’t just lounging around – Eric Young double checked each and every headset after the bike came off the build stand.

Pro mechanic and Chicago native Paul Damato was on hand to complete a final once-over of each assembled bike to ensure they were 100% safe and ready to ride..

Pro mechanic and Chicago native Paul Damato was on hand to complete a final once-over of each assembled bike to ensure they were 100% safe and ready to ride..

When all was said and done, 49 shiny new Diamondbacks were lined up for delivery by our partners at Working Bikes. Working Bikes works to distrubute bicycles as tools of empowerment in local and global communities.

When all was said and done, 49 shiny new Diamondbacks were lined up for delivery by our partners at Working Bikes. Working Bikes works to distrubute bicycles as tools of empowerment in local and global communities.

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