Sometimes a bicycle is more than just a bicycle. Sometimes a bicycle is a metaphor for building a more caring community!

yesteryear-2Sometimes a bicycle is more than just a bicycle! Sometimes a bicycle is the only means to get to work, or to open up new vistas. A bike is something privileged children take for granted and something, that a lot of times, is out of reach for under-privileged children.

We collect a lot of bikes, hundreds are donated to us each year. Half of them are OK but need a little work. The other half are terrible – embarrassingly terrible; rusted, worn out, unsafe and makes us wonder what people are thinking when they leave them with us.

The bikes that are good, generally need one or more safety interventions; brake pads, inner tubes, tires, chains fixed and wheels aligned. Which is not the easiest thing for us to do – actually it’s almost impossible. So a lot of good bikes never get re-purposed and gifted.

Bicycles were a huge problem for us until our “Go To Guy” Bob Cormier introduced us to Kim Camera at Yesteryear Cyclery.  Kim became a quiet and generous donor of used bikes that he could not take in trade, or re-sell. His crew fixes them up to be safe and then Kim shows up after work and drops them off for us to give to local children. Then it got better – Bob would bring bikes that were donated to us, that needed some work, to Kim and Kim and his crew would make them safe.

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Kim, Jim and Andy

Then it got even better, if that’s possible! Last week Kim showed up with a zillion tools and spare parts and his best friend Andy. They spent the day – went through our entire inventory and were able to make safe and re-purpose 51 bicycles! On the face of it a tremendous act of charity and kindness. Two professional men spending their day doing a day’s work, but not for themselves – but rather for 51 local kids who would never be able to have their own bicycle.

Last week Kim and Andy set a most perfect example of giving and service – they are truly a bright and shining light and helped define for us what it takes to actually build a more caring community!

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