community cycling center

Photo contributed by the Community Cycling Center

Over the last year, volunteers for the Community Cycling Center have logged 5,000 hours repairing donated single-speed coaster bikes. On Sunday, they’ll to turn over the spiffed-up rides to new owners. At the Cycling Center’s 15th-annual Holiday Bike Drive giveaway, the volunteers will distribute refurbished bikes to 400 kids who’ve never before had their own set of wheels.

Like him (awww!):

Kim Nguyen1

2009 Holiday Bike Drive, photo contributed by Kim Nguyen

Community Cycling Center Director Alison Graves said the bicycles give kids both a feeling of joy and the sense of freedom “that comes from a bike and being able to explore their neighborhoods with their friends.” Plus, she says, it helps their families, all of whom are struggling in one way or another, celebrate the holidays.

“We often hear the children participating have not had any kind of holiday celebration in the past,” says Graves.

Fear not, the kids aren’t allowed to just hop on their wheels and ride off into traffic. Safety first, people! Aided by Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Somali, and Burmese translators, volunteers will fit the children for helmets and talk to them about things like stop signs and arm signals.

And now, some ways to get involved:

  • Want to enjoy coffee and conversation at the reception? (Sorry, all this year’s bikes are spoken for.) 10:30 to noon in the atrium of Legacy Emanuel Hospital, 501 N. Graham St.
  • Want to donate a bike to this or any other cause of the Community Cycling Center? Stop by the bike shop at 1700 NE Alberta St., 10 am-6 pm Tuesday through Sunday, 287-8786.
  • Interested in volunteering? Check the Community Cycling Center’s volunteer page to find out about open positions and the next orientation.