NEW YORK–When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg oversaw the creation of thousands of dedicated bicycle lanes on traffic-clogged streets, many locals were astonished (and angry). But many of those nay-sayers have surprised themselves by discovering how easy–and healthy, and better for the environment—it is to ride a bike to work or to meet with friends.
But what do you do with your bike when you’re done with it? Leave it by the side of the road to be picked up as trash and dumped in parts unknown?
Why not recycle it instead?
One of those applauding the city’s bike-lane initiative was Karen Overton, 51, founder of New York City’s Recycle-a-Bicycle (RAB). “Don’t throw your bike out!” she says with a laugh. “RAB will take it, no matter what condition it’s in.”
- See more at: http://truthatlas.com/sustainability-advocate-creates-recycle-a-bicycle/#sthash.Ix4FgIgo.dpuf
We opened a Community Bike Shop (also named ReCycles Bike Coop, Little Rock, Arkansas, associated with the Arkansas Sustainability Network, which i also co-founded). The bike shop had 5 open stands equipped with all the tools, books, and volunteers you needed to learn how do everything from change your own tire to strip and rebuild your bike.
My greatest experience at the Coop was the connection i made with real super great people. When i opened it, i thought it could or would turn into a punk hang out, but none of the local punks really participated and what happened was that random bike lovers magnatized themselves to the shop creating an eclectic group of bike enthusiasts that eventually turned into really solid friendships. Military vetrans, high school seniors, junior high school dropouts (whose choice was come work on their dmx bikes OR join a local gang), eco-peeps, tattoo shop kids, fixie kids, racers, mnt bikers. it was fun!
and the best best BEST part, it was SO EASY TO ORGANIZE.
I love bikes, but im not a mechanic. I am organized, but also not a professional. Finding bikes is easy, fixing them is fun. and i HIGHLY encourage anyone with some extra space and a love for bikes to start their own community project.
Most major towns have great example projects, the best by far i have found in Tuscon. But New Orleans, Montreal, Nashville, and many other towns have their own projects. Sometimes you have to dig a bit to find them because they are run by punks, but dont fear the mohawks. Most Coops ive found to be very open to all sorts of volunteers and interested parties.
for more information on your local project there is this handy wiki: http://www.bikecollectives.org/wiki/index.php?title=Community_Bicycle_Organizations