You don’t need to invest in an expensive hybrid car to get to the places you need to go or to travel the world in an environmentally friendly way, in fact, with the proper resources and knowledge, many people in Seattle are incorporating bicycling into their lifestyle as a clean alternative form of transportation.
Bike Works is taking an active role in the Seattle community to help make this possible. Centered on bicycles, this organization “combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable, healthy community.” Their mission is to promote bicycling through educating and empowering youth and to make bicycling an accessible and affordable form of transportation for Seattle residents.
Why bicycling? Bike Works has recognized a need in the community for programs and resources to help residents lead healthy and active lives. They direct much of their efforts to a richly diverse neighborhood with high poverty rates and poor community health indicators. Bike Works believes that bicycling promotes public health, builds confidence, encourages environmental responsibility, and brings the community together.
How is Bike Works helping the environment? Bike Works encourages bicycling as a clean, healthy transportation alternative. They practice and encourage waste reduction by recycling and refurbishing donated bikes, keeping them out of landfills and putting them back into the community.
Reaching out to youth is Bike Work’s priority, providing kids with opportunities to learn how to ride a bike and repair bikes, to explore the world by bike, and engage in outdoor activities through their various youth programs. Through these programs, kids build confidence and learn about the environment.
Bike Works is making bicycling accessible and affordable through its adult programs that accommodate adults with varying skill levels. They offer adult riding programs, partnership programs for low-income adults, and Volunteer Repair Parties where adults can learn about bikes, bike maintenance and repair, how to be safe, how read bike maps, the rules of the road, how to ride in the cold and the rain, and much more. Each program sends a positive message about environment and promotes environmental awareness.
What’s great about Bike Works is that they encourage families to ride together, showing that biking can be incorporated into the family lifestyle. By offering parents opportunities to test out and rent different bikes, parents can find the bikes that best fit their family. Family bike seminars are available, where parents can learn how to make biking with their kids fun, safe, and practical. Bike Works also puts on a monthly family bike ride, Kidical Mass, where bicyclists with varying experience can learn how to bike safely with children in the city. Kidical Mass bike rides conclude with treats and park adventures.
Bike Works is doing great things for the community and the environment. To learn more about Bike Works and their youth, adult, and family programs, check out their website!