ReBike reward residents in Sheboygan County
If you visit the basement of a local coffee shop in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on a Wednesday evening, you will notice an astonishing sight: over 100 bicycles of all shapes and sizes lined up wall to wall.
Thanks to the generous support of several regular volunteers and Kate Krause at Paradigm Coffee House, the ReBike program has proven successful in providing over 65 bicycles to area residents in need of basic transportation. Members of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters and area residents have become proud owners of bicycles after participating in the program.
ReBike, a collaboration between the Sheboygan County Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program and the Sheboygan Bike/Walk Coalition, has been running strong since April 2010. No matter your age, you are welcome to meet at the coffee shop on Wednesday evenings and take part in a bicycle repair workshop. And after a few hours, you can earn your very own bike through your efforts.
At a typical workshop, volunteers help participants with bicycle selection, assist in proper repair techniques in restoring the bike, and provide safe cycling and rules of the road information. Once the participant has invested two to three hours working on the bike, he or she may take it home. That's all there is to it.
If the bicycle is not already equipped with a bike light, one will be provided so the proud recipient can ride safely with a flashy new accessory. A helmet must be worn if the bike is to be ridden away from ReBike. How to obtain a free helmet will be provided if the participant does not already have one. Numerous individuals from around Sheboygan County have kindly donated their unwanted or unused bicycles to the program, while cycles and parts have also been donated by Wolf's Cycle and Fitness, Sheboygan Bicycle Company and Terry's Bike Shop. The Sheriffs' Department and City of Sheboygan Police Department have also provided a large number of bikes, most of which were lost or stolen and remained unclaimed. A wide spectrum of bicycle types are available for all users, ranging from youth sizes to adult men's and women's bikes. Some are in very good condition, while others can only be salvaged for their parts.
By providing bicycles to area residents in need, the ReBike program seeks to promote recycling, encourage a healthier and more sustainable Sheboygan, teach valuable life lessons, and promote social skills among area youth.
Bicycling is sometimes forgotten as a viable form of transportation, and the goal of ReBike is to remind everyone how fun and practical biking to a destination can be. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with new people, have some fun and leave with the pride of knowing they worked to earn their new bicycle.
If you are interested in participating, donating a bike or volunteering, show up at ReBike in the basement of Paradigm Coffee House, located at 1202 N. 8th St. in downtown Sheboygan, on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. No experience in bicycle repair is necessary to earn a bike, although a ReBike agreement must be signed before the participant leaves with his or her bicycle.
For more information, e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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