At CycleReCycle( we have a policy of not giving away bikes free to anyone. People have to earn them.
Our L'EarnABike program geared primarily for young people 9 to 19 teaches basic bike mechanics, maintenance, and repair, and safe street riding.  It is often the first vocational type training many of these young people have ever had. Many have no experience using tools, the correct tool or using it properly..  Importantly by design the program also teaches a number of social skills along the way. These include how to ask for and give help, how to have a polite conversation with someone perhaps from a different culture or ethnicity, looking someone in the eye and addressing them by name,  how to show up on time as scheduled,  how to dress and behave in a work environment . We don't put up with foul language and have a strict anti-bullying policy. We give quite a few 1st job referrals to young grads.
One thing we see is when a group of kids on bikes come together to our shop the ones who have been through our program have far better maintained bikes even though they have no more money than the others. They've learned how to take care of them . They are also the ones who will put their bike in a rack or stand it up against something and lock it. The others tend to jump off and leave them crashed wherever they fall.
We've also worked through a local prisoner recovery program with some people just getting out of prison. They typically are living in a shelter, have no $, no job, and need transportation to look for work and begin to get their life in order. For their program we generally guide them in picking out a bike to meet their needs from our inventory of donated bikes. They totally disassemble that bike into a pile of parts, then reassemble and adjust everything. We work closely with probation officers and have given out 1st job referrals.
We find that getting bikes to people who need them in this way is far more effective long term than just giving out a free bike.


On Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 11:13 AM, Sylvie Baele <> wrote:
Alright friends, I am reaching out for some resources.. I have a meeting soon with a guy who has an organization which gives away bikes. "Second Chance Bikes"

Now, I don't disagree with giving people bikes... but I think the bike collective model (like earn-a-bike) is more empowering and sustainable long-term. And of course encourages safer riding, all while building community... 

Got any resources  (or data) that can help support my/our position? I am a bit nervous as my meeting is with an older white male and I'm a younger female. He's already mansplained me once before.


Sylvie Baele

"I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves." - Alexander von Humbolt


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