At Sharing Wheels, we know bikes are not just for kids or for men who race in France. Moms love bikes, too. Last year the City of Everett funded our “Learn & Earn” a bike program which provided bikes and basic bike training to 12 very low income adults in our community. Two of the most grateful participants were moms with young children. In addition to adult bikes, they got kid carriers and a bike for an older child so they could bring the kids along.
“I rode the bike everywhere and every single day, for appointments, groceries, with my kids mostly to shops, parks and neighborhood. Me and my kids love getting wet in the rain – the faster we ride, the rain hits our face and we laugh together. It was fun,” said one mom whose family is going through a difficult divorce.
Another mom thanked us for making lives easier during this difficult time: “I haven’t ridden a bike this much since I was in middle school. The classes help me fix other people’s tires and repair my own flats. Thanks for being a valuable asset in the community.”
This year’s revised “Community Bikes” program also targets very low income adults who need a lift.
Our first participant Jeannie had been feeling down, and knew a bike ride would make her feel less depressed. She has spent weeks in the hospital and hasn’t been able to work for awhile due to health issues. But her son’s bike was broken and the family’s other bike didn’t fit her.
She hoped she could trade them in at Sharing Wheels for a bike that worked. Well, we don’t do trade-ins (keeps us out of the stolen or quick-money bike business).
Thanks to generous donors, we have more than enough good, quality bikes in the shop. We’ve set aside some of those as Community Bikes. Jeannie earned her bike by taking a Fix A Flat class and volunteering in the shop. She’s in love with her new Schwinn. She plans to keep her blues away by biking every day.
Thanks to Sharing Wheels supporters for helping make biking accessible to people of all incomes, and reducing the gender gap in U.S. bicycling.