Training Wheels was a sub-project of the Bicycle Resource Center that catered to the unique needs and learning styles of our young members. The cost of purchase and maintenance of a bike for a child is simply out of reach for many low-income families. At the same time, young people tend to outgrow the size of their bikes very quickly. Through Training Wheels, youth ages 11 – 16 learned bicycle mechanics and young boys and girls ages 5 -10 received the refurbished bikes. The young mechanics then shared their learned skills with their peers. Participants in the learning side of the program were guided through the process of repairing a kid bike as instructors taught general knowledge of tool usage, mechanics, fundamental work skills and basic principles of conservation, engineering and green technology. Hands-on experience making the repairs on the kid bikes helped to solidify the understanding of bicycle functionality, geometry and mechanics. After repairs to kid bikes were completed and a safety checks were performed, they were distributed to children ages 5 – 10.
Through this project we worked with dozens of youth in our community and taught several ongoing workshops in local public schools.
Whereas this program is no longer ongoing, each year at our annual Posolada holiday event we still give out bikes to families with kids who would otherwise be unable to afford a bike in the same manner.