Bikes not Bombs, based in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, has been advocating for bicycles for 23 years. The group has a multi-pronged approach including recycling donated bikes from the community, educating youth in the ways of bike repair, and providing repaired bicycles to countries in need of transportation aid. Since its inception, Bikes not Bombs has provided over 33,000 bicycles to Central America, the Carribean, Africa, and post-Katrina New Orleans.
This past weekend Bikes not Bombs hosted their annual Bike-a-thon fundraiser event with organized rides, music, food and workshops. The group also runs a retail bike shop and vocational training center. Some of the rehabbed bikes are offered for sale along with new and used parts and accessories. Proceeds from sales and from reasonably-priced adult classes, which keep more bikes and cyclists up and running on the road, go towards the group’s youth and international programs.
The afterschool Earn-a-Bike program is one of the stars of Bikes not Bombs’ lineup of youth programs. Students pick out a bike at the beginning of the program, work to fix it up over the proceeding weeks, and get to keep their fancy rides at the end. Classes also focus on bike safety and environmental issues.
Next up for Bikes not Bombs is their MYRIDE (Multicultural Youth Riding in Diverse Environments) event on Sunday, June 15th. The youth-led ride teaches about the practicality of riding a bike in the city. Loaner bikes are available from the shop and a post-ride BBQ celebration is on tap for participants.
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