Do you remember learning to ride a bike as a kid? The freedom? New places to explore? While the bicycle movement is growing in Detroit, not everyone has access to a bicycle or knowledge on how to ride safely: especially Detroit youth.
To ensure the city’s movement doesn't leave behind those who can’t yet participate, the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) and its partner Back Alley Bikes wants kids across Detroit to experience that freedom and enjoy public spaces across the City through its Earn-A-Bike Program. In the last three years, DECC has helped more than 300 youth learn how to repair a bike, ride safely on the street, and visit parks and greenways across Detroit.
This campaign will fund DECC’s Earn-A-Bike program for 150 youth in Detroit. Each group of 10 to 12 students participates in an eight-day class on how to repair bicycles and ride safely. Some classes test their mechanic skills by hosting a free pop-up bike tune-up shop in their neighborhood. Students also get a chance to ride the pathways and bike lanes across Southeast Michigan including some of the over 150 miles of bicycle lanes and sharrows recently built in Detroit’s public parks and rights-of-way.
DECC’s Earn-A-Bike Program sets itself apart with its mobile system. Instead of being stationary like most Earn-A-Bike classes, we take the class to the student. DECC’s mobile system can transform just about any room into a workshop. This year, the program will run from June through August at five different partner locations and is open to Detroit residents from 12- to 17-years-old.
Students are rewarded at the end of the program with their bike to take home and keep, along with a lock and helmet. For most, this is their first bicycle. Imagine the feeling of freedom and the public spaces they can now explore.
The Earn-A-Bike Program introduces a generation of Detroit youth back to the outdoor public spaces through cycling. With the changes in Detroit’s cycling infrastructure there are so many new roads, pathways, and parks that can be explored if only students have a safe way to get there. The demand for bikes will continue to increase. In addition, cycling is a fun, healthy, and useful activity that people can do their entire lives as well as an educational tool to teach essential driving skills to decrease the probability of fatal accidents and injury.
Thanks for your support