Friday, March 06, 2009

the friday philanthropist

today, it's sunny and 65 in the d. and i had the day off work. a.k.a. bike adventure. as i rode up woodward to 8 mile, then doubled back through neighborhoods, people greeted me all along the way - at the bus stop, on bicycles, and out on their front porches enjoying the weather. this is one of the many reasons i love cycling in the city - it's a social event as much as a mode of transportation. another aspect of biking i adore is that it is an activity you can enjoy at virtually no cost. cue the friday philanthropist:

i first learned about community bike shops in new orleans through r.u.b.a.r.b. bike. the general idea is to make cycling more affordable and less intimidating to city residents. beyond that, community bike organizations are as diverse as the cyclists they serve. some offer "earn-a-bike" programs for children and teens to learn how to build bikes and ride them. others, such as bicrowave in santa monica, focus on teaching adult cyclists how to repair their own bikes. yet others rehab and resell bicycles at a fraction of typical retail costs.

the hub of detroit puts an interesting spin on things. as a "nonprofit, full-service retail bike shop," they vend merchandise you might find at rei or performance bike. this alone is a service to detroit residents who would otherwise be making a trip to the 'burbs for these items. however, all of the hub's profits are recycled into the organization, providing a sustainable funding plan for their youth "earn-a-bike" program, back alley bikes.

every wednesday and thursday evening from 6-8pm, the hub of detroit welcomes volunteers to help clean up shop and learn the basics of bike assembly and repair. you can guess where i'll be next wednesday. they also solicit for donations of unwanted bikes, parts, and accessories.

what's happening at your community bike shop?
new orleans
los angeles
santa monica

don't see your city or town in the list above?
check out this wikipedia entry that allows you to search for community bike organizations by country, state, and city. each entry provides contact information and most offer a direct link to the agency's website.


LizzyLou said...

a challenge and favor request: i am wanting to come up with some cool service fun we could do as a family in this area. . . but i'm too lazy to research on my own right now. any chance i could request one of the next friday p's be about something in the greater lehi area?

johnny said...

yup. i love challenge/favor requests! next week'll be about lehi.

sorry, teej. family first. i'll post on your recommendation in two weeks :-)

Amanda Lyn said...

Awesome plug for Aggie Blue Bikes, Logan's own Community Bike Shop. I went in last week and did some work on my bike (that they taught to me) and chatted with the AmeriCorps peeps there about various programs.

And once a month, on Thursday nights, they have Ladies Night at the bike shop! :) Sweet!

Missin' you.

PS. The word verification below is "sesties." Rhymes with breasties. Errr, besties.

preethi said...

Awesome. Yeah, um, my bike is from the Philly one. My friend built it for me a few years ago. :)