Volunteers Recycle Bikes, Give to Kids this Holiday

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Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – Main Street Bicycle Cooperative will host the annual Cool Yule Kids’ Bike Giveaway at 1808 Kirby Ave, today at 2 PM.  Twenty-seven children, ages 6-14,  will receive a bike, helmet, lights, and water bottle.  Lunch will be provided by Zaxby’s.  Then each child will participate in bike safety games lead by nationally certified safe cycling instructors.

Gerdau, which operates a scrap yard on Market Street, salvages kids bikes for the organization.  Used bikes also come from donors and clients.  Throughout the year, Bike Co-op volunteers learn basic mechanical skills by breaking down and rebuilding useful bicycles.  Bikes are safety checked and test-ridden then given reflectors and lights.

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Children sign up online or at the Bike Co-op to receive a bike.  Bike assignments are made according to the childrens’ height and gender.  Volunteers spent this week meeting the childrens’ families and measuring exact heights to ensure the best match. Bike size is important for safety as well as comfort.

At the event children will learn about proper helmet fit, how to tell if a bike is safe to ride, basic bike handling, and the importance of traffic laws.  

This program is made possible by volunteers, Gerdau, Zaxby’s, the Chattanooga Bike Club, the Highland Park and East Lake Neighborhood Associations, and many individual and business sponsors.  According to one volunteer, this community support is what makes the program worthwhile;  “We aren’t just giving bikes away,” says Judy Scoggins, “we are connecting kids to a network of neighbors, mechanical helpers, and safe cycling instructors.  We will work with these kids to keep them and their bikes safe in the new year.”

About Main Street Bicycle Cooperative:

Main Street Bike Co-op fosters a strong community through programs which provide low cost access to bikes and promote safe cycling.  Run entirely by volunteers, the co-op uses donated and discarded bikes to educate its members and build safe, reliable bikes for transportation and recreation.  

Individuals can use professional tools and stands to build and repair their own bicycles in the co-op’s community workspace in Highland Park.  Volunteers certified by the League of American Bicyclists also offer safe cycling classes and fix a flat classes for adults and teenagers.