Give a Little – fundraiser for our Bike Rodeo trailer

Give a Little – fundraiser for our Bike Rodeo trailer

We’re pretty pleased today to launch our bike trailer fundraiser via Give a Little.

We’ve got a unique opportunity (through some awesome supporters) to buy and kit-out a trailer for our kids bike library and skills course, but we need to raise $2750 before Christmas to make it happen!

So we’re asking you for an hour of your time. Not an actual hour, as we know December is a busy time, but what you’d earn in an hour. So far we’ve clocked up about 230 volunteer hours – through bike mechanics, people driving around picking up bikes, people dropping off bikes and all the admin side of stuff. If we could match the number of volunteer hours with  even half that number of ‘donated hours’ we reckon we’ll reach our goal.

Heard enough? Then head on over to our Give a Little page to make a huge difference for kids in Wellington.

So what’s this bike trailer about? The idea is to create a mobile ‘Bike Rodeo’. The trailer will hold 12-20 kids bikes of different sizes, a skills (or obstacle) course, and all the other important stuff, like comfy chairs for parents and sunblock for kids. We’ll take our bike trailer to every fair or festival that will have us! Along with some trained cycle skills instructors who can teach kids to ride, or help them conquer the obstacles (big or small, real or figurative).

We reckon (and the research backs us up) that learning to ride a bike has a huge number of benefits for kids. It builds fitness, confidence, resilience, curiosity, a sense of adventure and spatial awareness. And it’s fun! It’s a right of passage for every kiwi kid, but not every kiwi kid currently has access to a bike, so we want to fix that. If you’ve heard of the awesome Bikes in Schools projects, think of this as a mobile version which fills the gaps which Bikes in Schools hasn’t reached yet.

So please support our Bike Rodeo project – spread the word by sharing this page on Facebook, twitter, or whatever the latest social media thing is. Email your friends and mention it at your school gate. And if you can, please give us an hour!

Working Bee 001

We had a great time on Saturday at Sustainability Trust, fixing up some of the donated bikes. Many thanks to the Trust for having us, to Mechanical Tempest for the loan of bike stand and parts, and to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown for the yummy brownies!

We arrived with six bikes in various states of disrepair and left with five functional bikes, two still needing a bit more love and one box of parts!

Thanks for all the donations and support, and big ups to our awesome volunteers for giving up their Saturday morning. You all rock!

Several of these bikes will be joining a family of former refugees in Porirua who can use them to get to classes, school and eventually work. Ka mau te wehi!

 

How ReBicycle started

After several years of teaching cycle skills around the Wellington region, it was clear to ReBicycle founders Mike and Hilleke Townsend that many kids didn’t have access to good usable bikes. Then a Facebook post prompted Hilleke into action. A steady stream of former refugees would be arriving in the Wellington region. These people often arrived with nothing, and it could be years before they would be able to drive or afford to run a car. She came across an Auckland initiative, Recycling Bicycles for Refugees, which put it simply;

“Bikes are a great way of preventing isolation and keeping the community in touch with each other. When you arrive here with everything you own in a small suitcase a bicycle is very valuable in many ways.”

So, after a night of bouncing name ideas off each other (names are important, right?), Hilleke and Mike founded ReBicycle. Together with fellow board members, Leah Murphy and James Burgess, and a dedicated group of volunteers they are steering the collection of quality donated bikes, fixing them up and distributing them through referrals from local agencies.

The first bikes went out to a Syrian family of former refugees. They’re still learning English so we’ll let the kids laughter show their appreciation.