Why I Give: Ken & Kids Bike-o-Rama

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Ken at Bike-o-Rama this past Saturday

Families arrived Saturday morning at Kids Bike-o-Rama to receive a helmet, pick out a bicycle, and learn the rules of the road in one of Bike Works’ favorite events. It’s all smiles and laughter from the moment volunteers arrive until the last youth pedals away with a new bike.

Kids Bike-o-Rama is made possible by the dedication of the volunteers, staff, board members, and community –  whether it is donating the $50 to cover the cost of one kids’ bike or tirelessly wrenching away for months on over 120 kids’ bikes.

For volunteers like Ken, Kids Bike-o-Rama means seeing the direct impact of their hard work in the smiles of those kids. Ken comes to VRP every Thursday evening. “No matter how tiring my workday has been, I look forward to the Volunteer Repair Party (VRP) at the warehouse,” writes Ken. “I get to hang out with friendly mechanics from all experience levels and I get to feel part of the chain reaction of giving and receiving that happens here.” Ken rode into the Bike Works family one day and has not looked back. “It was 2008, the year Sheldon Brown passed away. He was the Internet’s patron saint of curious bike mechanics whose extensive web site taught me so much. It seemed fitting to join a memorial ride for Sheldon Brown organized in the spring. The ride was ingeniously routed to arrive at Bike Works during a Volunteer Repair Party. The rest is history.”

Ken demonstrates how giving can be a chain reaction. He gives his time every Thursday at VRP, he gives his expertise to other mechanics, and he gives back to Bike Works through his financial contributions.

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Ken at VRP

“I am struck by the dedication to make VRP welcoming to all who enjoy bicycle mechanics. It is a community that is as dedicated to learning as it is to service. In the years since, I have received so much from the VRP. Every week, I get to learn and teach bicycle repair know-how, make new friends, and reconnect with the regulars. I am reminded that with curiosity, humility, and patience I will never be too old to learn new tricks. I am happy to give to Bike Works both with my time and my donations so that I can extend the chain of teaching, learning, giving, and receiving —from Sheldon Brown & a memorial ride, to our community of volunteers and the generations of bike-lovers beyond.”

Bike Works is grateful to those who come together and help to build a sustainable community through bicycling. Volunteers and donors are the grease to the chain that makes Bike Works programs, like Kids Bike-o-Rama, possible.

For more fun photos from Kids Bike-o-Rama, head on over to the Bike Works’ Facebook page and check them out!