Advocacy & Safety - poor kid's bikes
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Kids in poor neighborhoods have lousy bikes to begin with and they don't get any ongoing maintenance- the bikes some of these kids ride are just incredible- no threads on tires, no brakes...
I would like to get bike repair to these neighborhoods on an ongoing basis and am looking for models.
In one community I know, youth at the Boys & Girls Club fixes up old bikes 4 days a week and on the 5th day they travel to other clubs in town to fix up bikes. I really like this model. Are there any others out there to get bike repair to poor kids on a regular basis?
05-20-09, 02:40 PM
I run a program for a non-profit organization in a low-income neighborhood. We have a bike safety day every year, bringing in a certified mechanic and other bike savvy people to work on bikes. But basically, we are a riding group. We teach the kids safe road riding and mountain biking technique on a weekly basis. We have about 10 kids right now, the program is in its second year.
We ride together with the kids at least once a week, and also tend to their bikes with small tune-ups. Through grant money and other programs, we were able to get every kid wearing a helmet, and also were able to purchase some awesome bikes for them to use. We have several treks, cannondales, redlines, and a couple specialized hotrocks. So we work on their bikes, but we also put them on nice equipment to get them excited about the sport.
We also run on a points system. Where if they ride with us for an hour, it is worth ten dollars. They have the chance to earn their helmets, bike computers, bells, bike components, and even bikes themselves. It has been a terrific program, we are run completely by volunteers, and one AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer (myself).
If you ever have any questions about the model we have been using, don't hesitate PM'ing me or anything.
What the Boys and Girls club you spoke of is doing is great. If we had something like that in our area, we wouldn't have created a new program like this. Why reinvent the wheel...? Right?
05-20-09, 03:00 PM
There's a program in Detroit called "The Hub of Detroit". It's a non-profit retail store that funds Back Alley Bikes.
05-20-09, 03:34 PM
There's a bike shop around here that takes donations for bikes, teaches disadvantaged kids to fix them and then resells them. They do good work, are located in a poorish neighborhood, and they're cheap.
Try http://www.tripsforkids.org/ for info on their earn-a-bike scheme. There are other schemes I've come across but can't find details at present
I am not offical but I help out the kids in my neighborhood by fixing flats and other minor stuff.
05-20-09, 07:29 PM
We have a co-op in the one neighborhood that has an earn a bike program with the kids. I've walked in a few times to see 6-7 kids huddled around a repair stand with a volunteer.
The benefit with the co-op is not just for the kids, but the community as a whole.
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