Wednesday night, my beer and bikes group gave back to the biking community. We signed up to work a shift at an organization called Free Bikes 4 Kidz. This group takes donations of old bikes, and then does some cleanup and repair, before donating them to kids who don’t have bikes. It was started locally by a gentleman who was asked to find a bike for a friend’s child, and ended up with 250 bikes in his driveway. From there it’s grown into an amazing charity that repairs and donates thousands of bikes every year.
This was my first year, and because I know how to change a bike tire I was a “prepper”. This meant that I would take a bike and start some of the basic repairs, such as changing tubes, lubing the seat post and pedals, and replacing damaged seats and handles. I am only a novice when it comes to bike repair so it took me a little bit to get the hang of things, but by the end of the shift I had managed to work on 3-4 bikes to get them ready for the mechanics.
This entire experience was a tons of fun and it makes me want to do more bike work to learn more. My step-son left a cheap bike in the basement, and so I might spend some time this winter fixing it up and learning how to add new components to it. That way I’ll be ready to do some higher level fixing next year when we go back. If you’re in the Twin Cities, I’d encourage you to go check it out. Even if you have no experience you can help with cleaning bikes, and getting them ready for the preppers and mechanics. It’s a great way to give back to the biking community and get kids involved in the lifelong love of biking.