Why Bicycles?

At Gearin’ Up, we believe that bicycles create positive opportunities for children and youth while expanding their horizons. Through hands-on learning, young people see how small accomplishments create a path to bigger success.

Bicycles help youth avoid negative influences, stay positive, and develop problem-solving skills. The bicycle shop provides a sanctuary for youth who want to escape violence and crime. By working with tools and following specific steps while refurbishing bicycles, participants show patience, perseverance, and focus. They demonstrate that being smart is just as powerful as being strong. After weeks of hard work, they take home bicycles built with their own hands, along with greater self confidence and a sense of personal responsibility.

Bicycles provide workplace skills and create job opportunities. At Gearin’ Up, youth mechanics learn how to repair bicycles but they also gain skills critical for success in entry-level jobs. They communicate with customers and co-workers, help maintain the shop space and inventory, and find mentors in staff and volunteers.

Bicycles make the whole city accessible to all children and encourage them to live healthier, more active lives. Bicycles make it easier to discover public spaces like trails, parks, and museums and shorten commutes to school and jobs. As childhood obesity rates rise and recess time dwindles, bicycles also provide a fun, easy way to get active, especially for children without expensive, after-school extracurriculars.

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