Bikes for the World

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Give a Man A Bike...

Mauricio of Phoenix Bikes
Better yet...teach him (or her) how to fix one! There is a saying about giving a man a fish vs. teaching a man to fish. That basic principle is exactly how our local bike organizations work in DC. It's also the foundation for how Bikes for the World operates and donates bikes around the world.

Mauricio came up through the earn-a-bike program established through Phoenix Bikes in Arlington. He learned the basics of a bike, and dove into more complex mechanics as he hung out in the tiny shed on the edge of Barcroft Park over the years. He is now a paid mechanic at Papillon Cycles.

Gearin' Up Bicycles
They are riding in the same gear over at Gearin' Up Bicycles in Northeast DC. This local group is creating career development opportunities and teaching essential workplace skills to teens from underserved communities through earn-a-bike programs that also promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle choice.

Phoenix Bikes has been "specializing in awesome" since 2007 and Gearin' Up has been up and running since 2012. Gearin' Up Bicycles just moved to a new permanent location at 314 Randolph Place NE. Phoenix Bikes is still operating in Barcoft Park, Arlington.

Both groups offer affordable bikes for sale reconditioned by trained youth enrolled in the program. Beginning in December Gearin' Up will open the shop to YOU on Tuesdays from 6-8pm for their BYOB (Build Your Own Bike) program.

Craig Annear helps load donated bike
Bikes for the World is proud to donate bikes to both of these local youth programs in the DC area. Bikes for the World's mission is to help provide affordable transportation to workers and students who need the bikes to better their lives. On November 15, 2014 BfW donated its 100,000th bicycle since 2005.

Because of the volume of bikes collected and donated at BfW, our main focus is partnering with other non-profit groups who have established programs in place that support our mission. This allows us to concentrate on moving a large number of bikes, therefore helping a greater number of people, without the distraction of fixing up bikes that are in need of repair.

Donation to Phoenix Bikes
The donations from BfW helps support programs locally and around the world, providing life skills that will improve the lives of beneficiaries enrolled in the programs. Our partners often teach mechanics and business skills that allow people to open and operate successful bike shops in rural Africa and the streets of inner city El Salvador.

Back here at home, Phoenix and Gearin' Up are doing similar work, teaching life skills to youth in the DC area. They are learning how to work as a team in a business setting and earning bikes in the process. Both groups offer valuable after school activities that engage and teach its members. They also do a lot of community outreach, offering group rides and participating in local events.

And the donating and support goes both ways. Phoenix Bikes organized a ride over to the BfW warehouse to help us celebrate donating our 100,000th bike this past weekend. As you can see, they weren't empty-handed when they arrived, toting a healthy supply of tires for our shipment.

Bikes for the World donates road bikes locally that aren't as suitable for the rural roads overseas. Both Phoenix and Gearin' Up also collect bikes on their own and often end up with bikes and/or parts in excess of what they need or can use. They then donate those items to BfW for use overseas. Our groups work together to provide the best bikes to the best areas around the world.

Waldorf Kiwanis will deliver 180 bikes to Pikeville KY
During our 100k event weekend, Bikes for the World donated over 200 bikes to three local bike organizations including a church group in Pikeville Kentucky.

In 2014, BfW donated more bikes locally than any other year, a testament to our growth pattern across the board. Over 1,000 bikes donated to BfW stayed here at home serving nine different local groups in 2014. Since our beginning in 2005, BfW has donated about 4% of all collected bikes to local groups.

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