Mother Earth Living

Pedal Empowerment: Teens Learn Basic Bike Repair Skills

Blackstone Bicycle Works is putting low-income youth to work rehabbing donated bicycles. Through free training programs, kids and teens from Chicago’s South Side learn bike repair and entrepreneurial skills.
By Letitia L. Star
March/April 2009
Add to My MSN

Blackstone staff member Chris Willard teaches basic bike repair.
Photo By Dan Peterman
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Join Us at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington!

Going to be in the Seattle area the first weekend in June? Then join us at the Mother Earth News Fai...

Organix-South Triple Neem Care Ointment

Organix-South has expanded its TheraNeem Skin Care Line with the introduction of Triple Neem Care Oi...

Alternative Treatments for ADHD

For alternative treatments for ADHD in teens try these herbs.

Residential Wind Power Now Available at Home Depot

Southwest Windpower launches a program to sells its Skystream 3.7 personal wind turbines at select H...

Endless Inventory: Pedals for Progress estimates that every year Americans throw out millions of old bikes and buy about 22 million new ones. Many more occupy basements, garages and sheds.

A New Spin: Blackstone Bicycle Works is one of many nonprofit organizations throughout the United States that welcome donated bicycles and parts. In addition to keeping old bikes out of landfills, the groups help increase the availability of inexpensive, well-maintained bikes, benefiting both local communities and the environment.

Wheel Deals: At Blackstone, Chicago bikers find everything they need to keep rolling. They can buy a refurbished bike or a new one that particularly suits urban commuters, or they can choose from safety accessories such as locks, lights, helmets and pumps.

Reasonable Repairs: Highly trained youth provide quality, low-cost repair and tune-up services. Tinkerers can browse through the program’s used parts inventory.

Earn-A-Bike: Hundreds of youngsters have earned wheels of their own. The Youth Apprentice program provides paid advanced training in bike repair, customer service and shop operations. All participants gain practical skills and self-esteem that help them succeed in school and the job market. And after 25 hours of training, they receive a refurbished bike with a new lock and helmet.

Learn More: Blackstone Bicycle Works

Other bike groups:

■ St. Louis Bicycle Works, St. Louis

■ Free Ride Recycle-a-Bike, Pittsburgh

■ Recycle-a-Bike, Providence, Rhode Island

■ Recycle-A-Bicycle, New York City

■ Bike Recycle Vermont, Burlington, Vermont

■ Recycle-A-Bike, Buffalo, New York








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.