Friday, February 10, 2012

Low-Cost Help for Bike Transportation

Cars are still the overwhelming transportation of choice for Americans, and lots of people are looking for financial help in obtaining cars.  But bicycle enthusiasts around the country are creating  community bicycle organizations, co-ops,  and other organizations providing low-cost help to people who want to transport themselves with bikes. 

What do these organizations, many of them staffed by volunteers, do?  Some provide low-cost bicycle rentals, or "bike sharing."  Some provide low-cost places and equipment to fix one's own bike, bike safety lessons for teens and kids, provide low-cost recycled bike parts for repair, or offer low-cost repaired, recycled bikes for sale, Some offer opportunities to learn how to fix your own bike, or allow you to "work off" the cost of bike or bike repairs by volunteering with the organization.  It depends on the organization.  Check with your local bike organization for its latest policies and projects.

 As usual, this blog spotlights Toledo and we'd like to put in a word for our very own Toledo City Bike Co-Op.  The co-op sells donated bikes that have been meticulously overhauled (starting at $75), or more simply repaired donated bikes (running between $20-$75),  They also provide access (for $5 an hour) to the DIY repairs shop, where you can access tools.  Also, if you volunteer to repair other bikes, you can get access to the shop for 1 hour for each hour of volunteer work that you donate.

***update: here's the website for the New York bike sharing program.

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