girls

Cycling with Disabilities and Injuries

14 Below Zero - Broken Hand
I haven’t been on a bicycle for 7 days. The reason? A couple of cracked ribs. I’ve tried each and every day to cycle, but it hasn’t been possible. When a simple cough is enough to bring tears to your eyes, riding a bicycle is a long shot. A serious blow to my pride but hey, at least I can walk around the neighbourhood. Which is nice.

Many Danish cities have small cars like these to measure the level of comfort on the bicycle infrastructure. I have a better, cheaper idea.

The city should just give citizens with broken or cracked ribs a smartphone, with activated GPS and a live line to a person at the Bicycle Office. Then they just ride around the city. Every time an OWWWW! or groan is heard, the GPS location is registered. That way the city will be able to map the spots that need maintenence. Now broken ribs are one thing, but what of citizens with more serious injuries or disabilities?

So I thought I’d whips together this article with photos of Copenhageners and other urban dwellers cycling with injuries or disabilities or using other vehicles that improve accessibility and mobility.

Like the shot of a Copenhagener in the morning rush hour (above) riding with what looks like a broken – or at least injured – hand, above. Still looking cool as you like.
Bicycle Crutches 02
Then there is this Copenhagener carrying her crutches with her on her bicycle. Fair enough, she might have been heading to the hospital – across the street – to deliver the crutches back.
Double Crutch
Then I remembered this shot from a while back of a girl carrying her crutches and getting doubled by her mum. The bicycle is a versatile tool. I know several friends who, after many years playing sports, have problems with their knees. They are invariably advised to ride a bicycle by their doctors.

Urban Mobility
There is a bike for almost everyone.

If you also make the bicycle the quickest and safest way to get around a city, people will do so – whatever their physical challenges. The bicycle is a freedom machine for many people.
Mobility Five Wheels, Three Arms
The dapper gentleman to the left may have reduced mobility for whatever reason, but he can get out and about with ease on this tricycle. Note his cane sticking out of the back.

I see the man in the right photo quite often. He rides a tricycle and only has one arm. A friend of mine knows him and I’m told that he only has one leg, too. He lost his limbs in a landmine explosion in the country he was born. He still gets about with ease on his wheels. Both of these gentlemen were impeccably dressed.

Bicycle Mobility
This gent is amazing and so is his cargo bike. A retrofitted Nihola lets him ride around the city with no lower arms and only one leg to pedal with. Fantastic.

Rock Star
If you’re a legendary Danish rock star, like Steen Jørgensen (above), you have a certain look to maintain and Steen pulls it off to perfection. The fact that he has no left arm is of little consequence.

Disabled Motion
I took this photo in Tokyo. The man had some form of disability with his legs. It required effort for him to get the pedals to turn but you can bet that it was a fraction of the effort he’d use when walking.

Casting Call Crutch Bike Crutch Bike
The lady on the left has a kind of cast on her leg, but still rides. The two photos on the right are from last winter. The boyfriend was holding the girls’ crutches and she moved slowly along – injured foot wrapped in plastic – on a child’s bicycle they had borrowed. It was icy so the crutches were probably more dangerous than helpful so the bicycle stepped in to assist. They were heading to the hospital down the road.

Vienna Cyclist Sticks
I spotted this lady in Vienna, Austria. Carrying her walking sticks to help her after she got off her bicycle.

This quaint sign on this tricycle reads, “Slightly Disabled”.

Invalidecykler
What with all the bicycle options for disabled – whether permanently or temporarily – it’s not surprising to see a parking sign like this outside my local library. It reads “Invalid Bicycles”, reserving a space close to the door for those who need it.

Wheelchairs
Montreal Wheelchair
I took this photo in Montreal. A trike pulling a wheelchair behind. This takes intermodality to a whole new level.

Wheelchair Transport
This retrofitted Nihola (it really is the Danish brand that offers unique variations of their cargo bikes) is designed simply to carry a wheelchair with passenger.

Walker Transport
This gent has his walker in the front of his cargo bike – intermodality once again.

Active Cyclist
You see many trike brands in operation in Copenhagen on a daily basis. This gent had what appeared to be Down Syndrome and he enjoys active mobility on this trike.

Electric Vehicles
Amsterdam Cycle Chic - Wheelie
Spotted in Amsterdam. An electric scooter with the wheelchair on a rack on the back. Compared to other cities, you see so many of such vehicles on the cycle tracks of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Used by people with disabilities and the elderly. It’s a massive market with many brands. Offering urban mobility to people who might be restricted to a wheelchair.

Heading For The City
Cool as you like in Copenhagen.

Bicycle Cane
If it is ripe old age that has reduced mobility, the bicycle still serves a purpose. I see this lady all the time in my neigbourhood. Always walking her bicycle with groceries in the basket. Perhaps too unstable to ride, but using the bicycle as a kind of crutch. Lovely.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition appoints new members to Its board

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) —?The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition recently elected three new members to serve on its national board of directors

OIWC to honor leadership award recipients at Interbike

BOULDER, Colo.

League makes grants to women’s cycling programs

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The League of Ameican Bicyclists is announcing $3,000 in mini-grants it will make this year to support new and growing programs to engage young women in bicycling, encourage more moms to ride and advance female leadership in the bike movement. The League’s Women Bike Mini-Grant Program is now in its second year. “The Women Bike movement is expanding at a rapid rate with creative initiatives and innovative ideas helping to change the face of bicycling in communities across the country,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, the League’s director of communications and Women Bike.

Best kids’ bikes: 20in girls’ and boys’ bikes on test

Growing big enough to fit a 20in wheeled bike is a momentous occasion in a young cyclist’s life. It’s at this point that a kids’ bike starts to share many features with an adults’, and starts to look like a ‘proper’ bike. Whether you’re after a boys’ bike or a girls’ bike, BikeRadar is here to help.

To find out everything you need to consider when buying a kids’ bike, have a look at our buyers guide to kids’ bikes.

Bikes designed for six- or seven-year-olds start to offer gears, two brakes, a freewheel and possibly suspension. These features come at a price point not too dissimilar to adult bikes.

20in kids’ bikes come in various forms, including basic singlespeed BMX-style bikes, internal geared hub rides or derailleur bikes. For the sake of comparison, our testing criteria were that all bikes should feature two brakes (with reach adjustment), a single front chainring and a rear derailleur.

Boys’ bikes

Scott Voltage JR 20

BikeRadar 4 stars: bikeradar 4 stars

The scott voltage was a very cool bike that was popular with both boys and girls - a heavy weight was all that stopped it scoring higher: the scott voltage was a very cool bike that was popular with both boys and girls - a heavy weight was all that stopped it scoring higher

Price: ?299

Weight: 12.38kg (27.24lb)

The good: Based on Scott’s credible dirt jump line-up, cool chunky frame, capable suspension, off-road ready, bottle and cage included, low starting height

The bad: Heavy, low maximum seat height

Buy if: You’re after a capable mountain bike that can handle some airtime

The Voltage is based on Scott’s popular adult dirt jump line-up. With a chunky square-edged frame and proper suspension in the form of a XCT Jr fork, this bike is made to withstand the most abusive of seven year-olds. Parts from well-known mountain bike brand Syncros are featured throughout the bike, along with a bottle and cage, so plenty of style points are earned. The quick-release wheels and seatpost aren’t common on bikes for kids of this age, but may be handy for parents who have wheel-off transport racks.

Kids’ thoughts: Lili: “It rides fast, it’s comfortable and I really like the water bottle”.

Trek MT 60 Boys

BikeRadar 3.5 stars: bikeradar 3.5 stars

The trek mt60 is very good, but the suspension is basically for show: the trek mt60 is very good, but the suspension is basically for show

Price: ?235

Weight: 11.57kg (25.45lb)

The good: Adjustable length cranks, great sizing, grippy tyres

The bad: No kickstand, oversprung suspension

Buy if: You want a basic, yet fully capable off-road ready ride

The MT 60 is a classy ride. It’s cheaper than many others on test but competitive in all areas. The standover isn’t the lowest, but a long seatpost offers a tall maximum height. The length of the crank arms is adjustable, and they feature a 120mm option (shortest on test), which increases the size range of the bike. The suspension fork, as experienced with the Merida (below), is a gimmick and does little for a light child. The quill stem further cheapens the otherwise great build. It also comes in a pink girls’ version.

Kids’ thoughts: Charlie: “I really like the black and blue colours and the bike is very comfortable to ride”

Merida Dakar 620 Boys

BikeRadar 3.5 stars: bikeradar 3.5 stars

The merida dakar 620 - capable and solid ride, but heavy and poor suspension: the merida dakar 620 - capable and solid ride, but heavy and poor suspension

Price: ?219.99

Weight: 12.01kg (26.42lb)

The good: Tall max height, seven-speed gears, adult looks

The bad: Oversprung suspension,150mm cranks, tall standover, high starting height, heavy

Buy if: You’re getting into the 20in size late, want a solid build or need a black bike

The Dakar’s hydroformed tubes take inspiration from Merida’s adult models. The black colourscheme is a mature choice, and polarised our test team. Similar to the Scott Voltage, the sturdy build is designed handle abuse. Bidon cage mounts are provided, but with space for a child’s bottle only. Seven-speed gears offer a suitable range. The suspension fork is a gimmick, completely oversprung for a child and has a harsh bounce back. Combine this with a high overall weight and tall starting height, and the Merida isn’t well suited to smaller children.

Kids’ thoughts: Noah: “I really like this bike. The seat is comfortable, it’s good on grass, comfortable and I like the colour

Frog 60

5 stars: 5 stars

The frog 60 would be a great bike to introduce your child to mountain biking on: the frog 60 would be a great bike to introduce your child to mountain biking on

Price: ?270

Weight: 10.9kg

The good: A great bike to introduce your child to mountain biking

The bad: Suspension fork is more of a token addition

Buy if: You’re looking for an introductory mountain bike without extra weight

The Frog 60 is a great bike to introduce your child to mountain biking, with 55mm travel front suspension and seven gears easily controlled with a Shimano Revoshifter. The frame is lightweight aluminium and has aggressive geometry that would look at home on the freeride circuit, with the added benefit of giving a reduced standover height. Our only concern is that the heavy suspension fork is more of a token addition rather than bringing any huge rewards. That said, the importance of having a bike that looks like mum and dad’s should not be underestimated.

Islabike Beinn

5 stars: 5 stars

Islabike beinn - off-road ready, with no heavy fork: islabike beinn - off-road ready, with no heavy fork

Price: ?299.99

Weight: 8kg

The good: Off-road ready bike without a weighty fork

The bad: The price is steep – but you get what you pay for

Buy if: You want a versatile kids’ bike that can copy with anything

The Islabike Beinn can be customised to meet the demands of even the most unruly seven-year-old. With countless additional options you can customise what is already a great child’s hybrid into a smart mini tourer or trail-ready off-road machine. It’s made almost entirely from aluminium parts and boasts a SRAM seven-speed groupset complete with Islabike’s own scaled down brake levers. Suspension is sacrificed in order keep the Beinn light. With the exception of the size, the Beinn feels every inch an adult’s bike, with quick-release wheels ensuring the bike can be stored or moved easily and 1.3in Kenda tyres helping kids feel comfortable both on and off road.

Specialized Hotrock 20

BikeRadar 4 stars: bikeradar 4 stars

Specialized have poured their knowledge of building adult bikes into their kids' range: specialized have poured their knowledge of building adult bikes into their kids' range

Price: ?250

Weight: 12.2kg

The good: Built from the same great stuff as Spesh’s adult bikes

The bad: A little on the heavy side

Buy if: You have a wannabe mountain biking daredevil in your family!

As you’d expect from Specialized, the frame is well built, using the same A1 aluminium that makes up many of Specialized adults’ range, with a suspension-specific geometry that looks ready to rip. A Suntour fork and alloy riser bar give the front end a grown-up, attack-minded feel that will have your kid heading for the dirt jumps in next to no time.

Girls’ bikes

Scott Contessa JR 20

BikeRadar 4 stars: bikeradar 4 stars

Scott contessa - super capable bike with an uncomfortable seat: scott contessa - super capable bike with an uncomfortable seat

Price: ?289

Weight: 11.95kg (26.29lb)

The good: Lowest possible seat height on test, girl-specific frame, consistent kids graphics, real suspension, quick-release wheels

The bad: Heavy, love-or-hate colour, uncomfortable saddle

Buy if: You’re after a quality off-road worthy bike

The Scott Contessa takes the great features of the boys’ Voltage but moves it to a slimmer (and lighter) frame with cartoon graphics. With a proper suspension fork and scaled down mountain bike position, the Contessa is ready for real rides. For taller kids, lots of exposed seatpost is required for correct saddle height. The Contessa is the most capable girls’ bike on test and has the lowest possible saddle height.

Kids’ thoughts: Summer: “I really like this but the seat is too uncomfortable

Merida Dakar 620 Girls

BikeRadar 3.5 stars: bikeradar 3.5 stars

Merida dakra 620 girls - rides well but a little heavy: merida dakra 620 girls - rides well but a little heavy

Price: ?219.99

Weight: 12.13kg (26.69lb)

The good: Max saddle height is generous, popular colour, comfortable saddle

The bad: Heavy, poor suspension, tall minimum saddle height

Buy if: You want solid and comfortable bike in a safe and popular colourscheme

On paper, the Merida is underwhelming – heavy and a tall minimum saddle height (especially without trimming the seatpost). The step-through frame adds weight compared to the boys frame, without much gained in saddle height. The fork is the same as the one on the boy’s Merida, so does nothing for a light child. However, the seven-speed gears shift nicely and overall the build quality is high. The white colourscheme proved popular and is easy to dress-up.

Kids’ thoughts: Summer: “The saddle is comfortable and the bike is fast

Saracen Spice

BikeRadar 4 stars: bikeradar 4 stars

The saracen spice is built with practicality in mind: the saracen spice is built with practicality in mind

Price: ?209.99

Weight: 12.1kg

The good: Built with practicality in mind

The bad: A bike heavy

Buy if: You want a confidence-inspiring and sturdy bike

The Spice is a girl’s bike with a difference. The paintwork has a spattering of pink, but that is where the girly nonsense ends. The top tube is low-slung allowing for plenty of standover room, adding to the confidence-inspiring off-road geometry. The Shimano chainset with chainring guard make for safe, simple gearing, and the rear mech protector is handy for when the bike gets dropped.

B’Twin Misty Girl

3 stars: 3 stars

 b'twin misty girl: one for the pink princess in your life: b'twin misty girl: one for the pink princess in your life

Price: ?129.99

Weight: 12.2kg

The good: Components are worthy of a grown-up bike

The bad: Garishly pink colour is a love or hate choice

Buy if: You’re after a cheaper bike and your child likes pink!

If your daughter likes pink then this B’Twin is for her – the Misty Girl is simply dripping with the stuff. Pink frame, pink saddle, twin pink mudguards, pink chainguard and mountable pink handbag make this 20in bike fit for a princess. The bike also comes with bell and kickstand, making it feel decidedly grown-up and interesting beyond day one. It has V-brakes and SRAM shifters to introduce your child to this next level of mechanics.

In conclusion, if you’re buying a kids bike from a reputable bike store, it’s hard to go wrong. Find the right size, with features suitable to the desired use and, most importantly, pick a colour your child likes!


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By admin on December 7, 2013 | Mountain Bikes
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Third annual SoCal ladies’ mountain bike festival planned

LOS ANGELES, CA (BRAIN)—The idea to start a women’s mountain biking group in southern California was sparked over happy hour conversation. Good friends and avid mountain bikers Wendy Engelberg and Kim Cofield saw a need for a place for women to meet other lady cyclists

Trek Lush SL WSD review

We tested the top aluminium-framed model of the Lush, and it’s no mere rebranding exercise for the girls – it’s a fully functioning trail bike.?

Ride & handling: Confident descender if you’re experienced enough

After one ride we switched the tiny 630mm bars for 710mm risers. A bike like the Lush needs decent bars for maximum leverage, and with this simple change the bike came into its own.?

At first, the upright feel of the Lush makes even the largest 17.5in frame feel stubby, but the moment you hit winding singletrack the bike feels well balanced and aches to be flicked around. Once you’re out of the saddle, it feels lightweight and easy to aim and place, but stable and confidence inspiring at the same time.

Switching the suspension to its ‘let rip’ Descend setting means you can push hard into tricky corners and let the shock smooth your exit so you keep your speed. It’s easy to land softly over drops and nudge up your airtime.?

On trails that traverse more than plunge, the middle suspension setting is perfect to make effective use of your pedal power but also smooth out any jarring, although when the adrenaline creeps upwards it’s best to make sure you flick the magic dial to ‘D’.

Despite the technological assistance the Lush offers on rough trails, don’t be fooled – you’re no mere passenger. The 26in wheels won’t simply blunder through the rocks, and this bike requires precision piloting: that means shifting your weight around to untap the potential for speed.?

It’s this combination of a smooth, plush response from the suspension and the lightweight and even dainty feel – requiring a trail-sensitive, intelligent rider – that makes the Lush a real winner.?

Trek didn’t create the Lush with extended climbing in mind, and gaining height on the uninspiring fire roads that cross our mountainsides is a bit painful. The relatively slack 68-degree head?angle and upright position can leave?it feeling vague, but if you sit on the saddle nose and bend hard over the?front you can force enough weight down to transfer your power from pedal to ground and bring the bike up to a reasonable climbing speed.?

On slippery, rocky climbs the Bontrager tyres grip well, especially when run at lower pressure. With a bit of mental grit, even the steepest of gnarl can be conquered if you play around with your balance point.?

The upright body position, deliciously comfortable saddle and super-grippy tyres will appeal if you’re new to trail centre Black runs and rugged big country riding. But the bike’s delicate balance and serious bounce will support a transition through to elite Mistress of Singletrack, and soon have you craving to push the limits of bike and skill.?

The fun factor increases as your confidence in body-shifting movement increases, but it does require plenty of core strength and endurance. We found this led to a sore back initially, but bear with it and your body will adapt.?

Trek lush sl wsd:

Frame & equipment: Women’s specific features that translate to the trail

Trek’s Women Specific Design line offers more than matching pink accessories; it means a proper saddle and grip combination designed for the female form, plus a slightly shorter frame for any given size to create a more upright, less stretched riding position.?

Frame sizes start at 14.5in and go up in inch intervals to the largest at 17.5in. All get masses of top tube clearance to boost quick-dismount confidence when tackling tough terrain. A tapered head tube offers extra stiffness and steering precision.?

Fox provide the 120mm of suspension travel, but both fork and shock feature Trek’s Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) technology, designed to give a plush but supportive initial feel that doesn’t get harder towards the end of the travel, maximising use of the available suspension.?

They also come with Climb Trail Descend adjuster levers so you can select damping to suit the terrain. The frame also gets the Active Brake Pivot and Full Floater designs seen on Trek’s other trail bikes, but it’s reworked to perform better with the slightly lower shock pressures that lighter riders typically require.?

That suspension, teamed with fat, grippy Bontrager XR3 2.2in tyres that can be run tubeless, make the Lush a bulletproof choice for women who don’t want to be overshadowed by the guys or go home early.?

A drivetrain based around Shimano’s outstanding 10-speed SLX gears – with XT rear mech and a Deore triple ring crankset – gives a range of gearing suitable for most terrain. The hydraulic Shimano SLX brakes offer plenty of power, and feel and reach can be adjusted to suit smaller hands too.?

The Lush offers a smooth ride over tough trails and plunges downhill at maximum speeds. The suspension offers a dramatic range of settings and it’s worth getting used to switching between them on the move. This is a bike to support your transition to a trail superstar, as it rewards skills while forgiving clunkier decision-making.?

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.



Bikes Not Bombs Mega Update

Spring 2013 Youth Programs Enrollment is Open

  • Spring 2013 Earn-A-Bike: March 25 – May 1, 2013 (M-Th, 3:30 – 6:30p)
  • Spring 2013 Girls In Action: May 13 – June 14, 2013 (M-Th, 3:30 – 6:30p)

Bikes Not Bombs is currently enrolling applicants for the Spring 2013 sessions of the Earn-A-Bike andGirls in Action programs. Earn-A-Bike is a co-ed program and Girls In Action is for girls only.

Both sessions are Mondays through Thursdays from 3:30pm – 6:30pm. In the program you’ll choose a bike in the beginning and learn the skills to not only build it up, but maintain it as well. At the end of the program, once the bike is built, it is yours to take home! Additionally, we go on bike adventures to explore some of the fascinating places Boston has to offer, and look into various environmental and social justice issues.

There are a limited number of spots available. Applicants are chosen based on application date, and the applicant’s availability and willingness to commit. To qualify for enrollment, BOTH the application (filled out) and payment (cash, check or money order) need to be submitted. If you (student) are not accepted for whatever reason, you will be notified and your program fee will be returned. Fee waivers are available.

If you have any questions please contact Elijah Evans, Director of Youth Programs, at 617-522-0222 x101 or email elijah@bikesnotbombs.org

Applications are available online. Mail or deliver the application & fee to: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Help Teach BYB’s Youth Programs

Manolo Sandoval Stephane and Fatima teaching a lesson during AIT

Adult Instructor Training (AIT) is a 30-hour course, taught by BNB Youth Employees, that provides the foundation in basic bike mechanics, teaching methods, role modeling and leadership, and age and gender sensitivity that you need to successfully volunteer in BNB Youth Programs. In exchange for this free program, Adult Instructors are REQUIRED to volunteer a minimum of one program day per week from 3pm-7pm in at least one session of Earn-A-Bike or Girls In Action.

AIT runs March 11 – March 22, Monday – Wednesday, and Fridays 6-9PM

Adults of all identities are encouraged to apply. Spanish skills are helpful but not required. No bicycle mechanics experience necessary. For more information please contact Elijah Evans at elijah@bikesnotbombs.org or 617-522-0222 x101

BNB is Hiring Part-time Temporary Bike-A-Thon Positions

Phone Outreach Coordinator for our Bike-A-Thon – Here’s a fun job part-time job for 12 hours per week this spring: help recruit riders for our Bike-A-Thon. Call up people who’ve ridden before and ask them to do it again this year! Easy. It also pays $12 per hour! You’ll get a chance to talk with lots of our supporters, as work with volunteers who will help out with the calling too. And for Bike-A-Thon day you’ll organize our rider welcome area to celebrate the riders as they cross the finish line. This event is super fun, and this job is a great way to plug in! Read more online

Hiring cycling Route Coordinator for our Bike-A-Thon ride! – An exciting job this spring for 20-25 hours per week and $18 per hour! Help plan and coordinate the cycling-related aspects of our Bike-A-Thonevent — route maps, route marking, rest stops, volunteer ride marshals, spare parts, tools, and first aid. This job is perfect for someone who has experience with biking and event planning. The work is from March through June and applications are due by February 10th. Read more online

Bike-A-Thon Registration Opens March 1st!

Save The Date! Bike-A-Thon Registration Opens March 1st, and the event will take place on June 2nd!

Volunteer Appreciation Party

BNB staff singing their annual ode to volunteers

Every year we gather together for a night of food and fun to appreciate all of the hard work that our amazing volunteer community has put into making Bikes Not Bombs’ programming happen, and YOU’RE invited! Come on out to meet and spend time with other volunteers and BNB staff and community members, enjoy snacks, and celebrate our work.

Who: All BNB volunteers! If you’re not sure if that’s you, ask Jeremy (jeremy@bikesnotbombs.org)

When: Thursday March 7th, 7 – 9 pm RSVP on Facebook

Where: BNB Hub, 284 Amory Street

Youth Programs Open House – February 25th 5:00 – 7:00PM

Come check out our amazing youth programs!

As we kick off a new year of youth programs at Bikes Not Bombs, we want to take an opportunity to open our doors to any and everyone who is interested in getting involved. The BNB Youth Programs Open House is a chance for parents, friends, teachers and interested youth to learn about our programming in-depth and see if it is a good fit for you or someone you know.

Please bring a snack to share if you want, and prepare to be amazed! Contact Elijah Evans atelijah@bikesnotbombs.org or RSVP on Facebook

Tool Time: work on your bike

Upcoming dates: February 13th and February 27th. Tool Time is a time for BNB youth programs graduates, members, and volunteers to come through and use our Hub mechanics space and tools to work on your own bike. To attend a session, please rsvp to Jeremy (jeremy@bikesnotbombs.org; 617-522-0222 x109) with at least 24 hours notice so we can make sure we have enough space.

See more info and upcoming Tool Time dates online.

BYF Hopeline is Open!

BNB Summer 2012 Youth Employees Kafe Williams-Kalez and Evan Hanlon Demonstrate Earn-A-Bike Teaching Techniques

The Boston Youth Fund provides thousands of Boston teens between the ages of 15 and 17 with job opportunities during the summer months. The Boston Youth Fund participants work in a variety of jobs within community, faith-based, and government agencies, including Bikes Not Bombs. To Be Eligible for the BYF Summer Employment Program, You: MUST Turn 15 Years Old – On or Before July 7, 2013, CANNOT Turn 18 Years Old – On or Before August 16, 2013, MUST be a Full-Time Resident of the City of Boston, MUST be Legally Permitted to Work in Massachusetts & The United States. Visit the Boston Youth Fundonline to enroll.

Nominate Bikes Not Bombs for the Best of Boston

The Boston Phoenix is collecting nominations for its annual Best of Boston Awards. It only takes a minute to vote! Visit their online ballot and write in ‘Bikes Not Bombs’ for Best Bike Shop and Best Local Non-profit!

Ashley Leary is BNB’s New Chain Reaction Coordinator

BNB is thrilled to announce that Ashley Leary has joined Hub Staff as the Chain Reaction Coordinator. Ashley joined BNB in 2008 as a participant of the first all girls EAB and soon became a instructor in the program. She completed our Vocational Education program and soon after joined the staff at the Bike Shop. Ashley joined BNB’s Board of Directors in the summer of 2010, a role she held until joining staff. Ashley will coordinate all aspects of Chain Reaction, BNB’s after-school, mobile, youth-run bike shop, which will be located at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury, from April through June. She is also studying sociology at Northeastern University and in her spare time she is usually shooting hoops or listening to music.

Looking for Small Business and Corporate Bike-A-Thon Sponsors

The Bike-A-Thon is a great opportunity for local businesses to get some awesome publicity. For as little as $25, or as much as $2,500, you can become a Bike-A-Thon sponsor. Your name will be listed on outreach materials, and the BNB website and, for larger sponsors, the back of the 2013 Bike-A-Thon t-shirt. For info about the different levels please contact Sarah Braker at 617-522-0222 x104 orsarah@bikesnotbombs.org.

Winter is a Great Time to Visit the BNB Shop

The Bianchi Camaleonte, now available at the BNB Bike Shop

The Bikes Not Bombs Bike Shop has been busy refurbishing bikes for the Spring. Although not always the best weather for a test ride, Winter is a great time to stop by and check out what we have for bikes. Every week there are about 20 new bikes to come see. We also have our first new bike model of the year! The Bianchi Camaleonte (Italian for Chameleon) is a versatile and adaptable flat bar road bike. It’s well suited as a fast commuter with disc brakes, all the mounts for racks and fenders, comfortable 32mm tires and a wide range of gears. But it would also function well as a purely recreational bike for spirited weekend rides. We currently have a few sizes built up for test rides. Come down and check them out!

Although the cold and snow will give every reasonable cyclist doubts about when and how often (and in what weather) they venture out, we do stock many accessories that can make mild and extreme winter riding a possibility. If you have any questions about increasing visibility, keeping your hands warm, better fender coverage, tires that can handle icy roads, or even what to use to get all the road salt off your bike, feel free to stop by.

Does Your Town Do a Recycle Day or Drop-off Day?

Does your municipality conduct a multiple-item collection event in the spring and/ or fall? Bikes Not Bombs participates in events in Andover, Acton, Arlington, Ayer, Billerica, Concord, North Reading, Mansfield, Medfield, Melrose, Northampton, Tewksbury, and Wrentham, collecting hundreds of useful bikes. If your town (or an organization within your town) conducts one of these events, and it is not on the list above, we want to know about it. If you have contact information for an organizer, that’s great, but if you do not, even knowledge that an event exists is useful to us. Emailstephen@bikesnotbombs.org.

Youth Employee of the Month – Keemo White

Keemo White is the January 2013 Youth Employee of the Month. Originally from Jamaica, Keemo came to Bikes Not Bombs in 2012 with one thing in mind, fixing bikes! Since then, he has become a respected leader among his peers and has sought out many opportunities to develop new skills. He takes initiative, works independently and with his peers to achieve goals, is focused and has a calm leadership style that people have responded well to and respect. Keemo is also fun to be around, and he motivates his peers to be successful. While he has a steadfast belief in his own ideas and opinions, he is always willing to adhere to the group process. Keemo has also increased his participation in the Youth Jobs Coalition by playing a role in setting goals for the coalition, helping with campaign strategy, and mapping and strategizing ways for the groups to reach those goals. Congratulations to Keemo!

Bikes Not Bombs December Update

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Give the Gift of Bikes Not Bombs Donating to Bikes Not Bombs in honor of someone you love is a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays and show your support for Bikes Not Bombs!  With every gift, you will receive an email receipt including a link to a holiday card for you to download, print, and mail to your recipient, as well as a holiday card for you to send by email if you wish. Give a gift BNB membership by making a donation of of $35 or more ($50 or more for a family membership) and your recipient will receive discounts at local bike shops and the opportunity to come to Tool Time at the Hub, where they can use BNB’s tools and stands to work on their bike. Click here to make donation to BNB as a holiday gift.

BNB depends on our network of donors to help us ship and refurbish bikes, create meaningful partnerships with international communities, and work to give young people a pathway to success.

If you have already made a donation during the Phone-A-Thon or replied to our recent mailing, we would like to express our most sincere thanks and appreciation for your support. If you have not already made a gift this season, please consider making one online today or mail a check to us at 284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

Bikes Not Bombs is hiring a Director of Fundraising and Events!

Collecting money from riders on Bike-A-Thon morning. Organizing this event is an important part of the Director of Fundraising & Events’ role. And riders, save the date for Bike-A-Thon 2013 on June 2nd! Photo by: Wayne Chinnock

Bikes Not Bombs seeks to hire a dynamic, creative, and highly organized professional to manage the organization’s fundraising efforts, major donor strategies, oversee events, and serve as an enthusiastic ambassador of BNB’s mission. Strong relationship cultivation and management of donors and volunteers is key to success in this role. The position requires both an ability to think strategically about the “big picture” and execute plans with strong attention to detail. The Director of Fundraising & Events will work on a team including the Communications Manager, Information and Technology Manager and Development Associate and reports to the Executive Director. If you are interested, check out the job description here. Cover letter and resumes are due December 24th.

We just shipped our 50,000th bike overseas!

At left, volunteers near the completion of the loading, and at right, BNB’s founder Carl Kurz speaks about the history which led up to this milestone. Photos by Stacey Rupolo

December 1st 2012, Bikes Not Bombs loaded our 50,000th bike for international shipment. An outstanding crew of volunteers attended to help load the shipment which is headed to our partner, Ability Bikes Cooperative, in Ghana. Amidst excitement and celebration, Bikes Not Bombs’ founder Carl Kurz loaded the 50,000th bike, and spoke about the beginnings of Bikes Not Bombs and its steady growth over the past 28 years. Carl stated that Bikes Not Bombs not only celebrates the 50,000th bike, but all the work, volunteerism and leadership that brought the organization to this point and that drives us toward new milestones. Bikes Not Bombs’ practical and concrete work with the bicycle is continuing to further peace and justice in the world today, in which our name and mission are ever relevant.

Youth program highlights of 2012

For those of you who don’t have a chance to see our Youth Programs in action, here are some of the highlights from 2012:

  • BNB graduated more than 100 young people from our Earn-A-Bike and Girls In Action programs.
  • We employed more than 40 graduates of our Youth Programs as instructors, five of whom are also now enrolled in our Vocational Education Program, which starts this month.
  • Thanks to the hard work of Kenny Simms, BNB saw its Alumni Services Program grow in unprecedented ways. From the annual Halloween Scavenger Hunt, to new events like trips to Sky Zone and Pumpkin Carving, BNB now offers an array of programs to keep young people engaged even after they have graduated from a program here.
  • In March of 2012, five BNB Youth Employees helped launch Chain Reaction, a youth-run, mobile bike shop. Through a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Chain Reaction sold affordable bikes, and offered repairs, to cyclists in neighborhoods without bike shops. The program is set to re-launch in April, 2013 at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury.
  • Over the summer, BNB ran two additional programs. STRIVE, an Earn-A-Bike program in partnership with Boston Public Schools, and On My Way, On My Bike, an introductory cycling program. The latter took place at Camp Harbor View, and BNB Youth Employees taught 43 campers how to ride bikes, while working with a total of 400 young people.

These are just some of the highlights of these dynamic programs. If you’d like more information on BNB’s Youth Programs, or would like to get involved, please email Elijah Evans, Director of Youth Programs, at elijah@bikesnotbombs.org

Free commuting clinic, gifts, overhaul special at the BNB Bike Shop

Our Winter Overhaul special is off to a great start! If you’re interested in getting your bike riding like new for spring or if you’re interested in giving your bike a complete makeover (new seat, handlebars, wheels or more) stop by and we can go over your options with you.

Thursday December 13th from 8-9pm we’ll be offering a free clinic on Bike Commuting through the winter in Boston. The clinic will cover bike accessories to consider, different clothing options, and winter specific maintenance issues. Clinics start promptly at 8pm and may be cancelled due to low attendance–please show up on time.

One of our favorite new products this fall has been the Serfas USB Light Combo. It’s bright, USB rechargeable (so you’re not putting batteries in the landfill) and most importantly-at $40-very affordable. The mount is also integrated into the light so it’s easy to switch between bikes.

We also have many items here at the shop that can make great gifts for any cyclist or non-cyclist on your list. If you’re not local (or your gift recipient isn’t) we can send Bikes Not Bombs T-shirts, Jerseys and Gift Certificates domestically and internationally. Gift Certificates can be done in any amount and can be picked up at the shop. They’re a great option if you’re not sure of the specific model, size or even product that would be the best fit. Stop by to check out bells, lights, cycling caps and reflective gear starting at around $10. We can also special order items usually within a couple days (but make sure to check early if you need it for the holidays).

Please note that we will be closed December 24th through January 3rd reopening to normal winter hours on January 4th. Happy holidays and stay warm and safe.

Carpentry, sheetrock, and painting help wanted this winter

If you have skills, we have building projects!

We need a crew of carpenters and assistants to make some structural changes in the Bikes Not Bombs office and workspace storage areas. If you have skills in carpentry, sheetrock, or painting, and could contribute some time in January or February, get in touch! There are a number of projects so you can take on something larger or smaller, and potentially work in a team with others. We can also potentially use building material donations of plywood, wood suitable for desktops and shelves, sheetrock tape and joint compound, caulk, 4×4 posts, 2×4s, 6s, or 10s, a heavy door with a window in it, and other supplies. Contact Arik at arik@bikesnotbombs.org or 617-522-0222 x100.

Chair donations wanted

Is your office getting rid of chairs? Bikes Not Bombs might want them! The Bikes Not Bombs Hub is in need of some new chairs for our staff and volunteers. If your office is redecorating or ordering new chairs anytime soon, let us know what you have and we can see if it is a fit for BNB. Rolling chairs, stacking chairs, or folding metal chairs might all be useful. Contact Kwame Bidi at kwame@bikesnotbombs.org for more information.

Youth Employee of the Month

Jesus Soto is BNB’s Youth Employee of the Month. Since graduating from Earn-A-Bike last month, Jesus has made a seamless transition to the Youth Employment Program. His positive attitude, never-fading smile, and willingness to do anything are just some of his awesome qualities. He also attended BNB’s Strategic Planning retreat, made calls for the Phone-A-Thon, and is enrolled in Vocational Education. His commitment to BNB is clear, and he’s only been working a few weeks. Congrats to Jesus!

Tool Time: Work on your own bike!

The next Tool Time will be December 13th. See more information and future dates online

Tool Time is a time for BNB youth programs graduates, members, and volunteers to come through and use our Hub mechanics space for working on your own bike. To attend a session, please rsvp to Arik (arik@bikesnotbombs.org; 617-522-0222 x100) with at least 24 hours notice so we can make sure we have enough space.

Chain Reaction Gets Grant!

Chain Reaction, who I have talked about before here, got an awesome grant from Citizens Bank to further their work!

Press release below:

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Citizens Bank yesterday announced that Chain Reaction, a youth-based organization associated with Bikes Not Bombs, has been chosen as one of two northeast winners of the “Banking on Youth” competition. Chain Reaction, Boston’s first mobile, after-school bike shop and training center, specializes in offering low-cost bike sales and repairs to neighborhoods without access to bicycle shops.

Chain Reaction was conceived by five youth employees of Bikes Not Bombs, a nonprofit located in Jamaica Plain. The teenagers – Evan Hanlon, 17, of Roslindale; Corrina Roche Cross, 17, of Brookline;  Abdul Hussein, 16, of Jamaica Plain;  Stephane Alexandre, 17, of Mattapan; and Will Gifford, 17 of Jamaica Plain – recognized low bicycle usage in many low-income neighborhoods and set out to make cycling more affordable for children. Chain Reaction will receive $1,000 of seed money to build and expand their program.

“Citizens Bank is thrilled to award Chain Reaction and their innovative idea with this seed money, which will benefit the Greater Boston community,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens in Massachusetts. “Through initiatives like this, we remain committed to fostering good citizenship within our footprint, and will continue to seed the kind of ingenuity and leadership demonstrated by these young entrepreneurs.”

The project launched last March, with space provided by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Using the Roxbury and Dorchester clubs as their operations base, the Chain Reaction founders have already refurbished and sold dozens of bikes for a minimal cost, with more bikes receiving basic repairs. Chain Reaction also offers “Learn-it, Earn-in” repairs, where bike owners can work with a team member and learn how to fix their bikes, free of charge.

Banking on Youth provides young adults with the opportunity to showcase their nonprofit venture that directly benefits society. Conceived by the Consumer Bankers Association Foundation and Ashoka Ventures, the competition required entrants to develop a creative and fun, 90-second video that demonstrated the importance and impact of their program. As a sponsoring bank, Citizens provided seed money to bring the winners’ ideas to life.

More than 170 business plan proposals were received this year and are available at www.bankingonyouth.org. The video for Chain Reaction can be found here: http://bankingonyouth.org/chain-reaction/. A full listing of the 55 regional winners, along with their videos is available here. For further information about the competition visit www.bankingonyouth.org