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There’s lots of information floating around and I hear all sorts of theories from my clients. I thought it was about time to dispel some of those myths and put the truth out there.
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I was on a bike ride this morning and I was passing homes who had set their trash out for pick up. I saw something that really disturbs me. Someone was carelessly throwing away a bicycle.
Think back to when you were a kid and you got your first bike. Remember that feeling of freedom? The joy of being able to power yourself along to go places you couldn’t go before was amazing, wasn’t it? Think about that time you taught your child to ride their bike as they wobbled on two wheels.
Now, think of how you would have felt if you never got that bike. There are a lot of kids who can’t afford a bike and here someone’s deciding that they’re going to throw one away. What a waste.
Their argument is that by putting it out by the curb, the trash pickers will scoop it up and it will go to use. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that bike that was once your prized posession is on it’s way to become scrap metal. What a waste. That bike could bring a whole new life to a kid. It could give them hope, inspiration, keep them off the streets and give them a goal to work towards. It could help someone get to work. It could make the difference between putting food on the table, or not.
If you’re about throw away a bike just because you no longer need it, don’t do it. Donate it. Take it to Goodwill. Take it to Working Bikes Cooperative in Chicago. Drop it off at the The Recyclery. Or, take it to any one of these places. If that’s too much trouble, contact me and I’ll take care of it for you.
Please, don’t throw it away.
(Photo provided courtesy of Deborah Courson Smith)
Chicago is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the US.
Every summer, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events holds Bike to Work Week. Check out all the events and activities of Bike to Work Week. One of the highlights of the week is the Bike to Work Challenge. You don’t have to live or work in Chicago to participate.
I’d be willing to bet that many of you live within a few easy miles from your workplace and you’re a perfect candidate to give it a shot. Go at a nice easy pace and you’ll arrive refreshed but not all sweaty. Bring your clothes in a backpack or alternate driving and riding days and bring your clothes the day before. Here’s a great guide to help you learn how to bring your clothes and make sure they look good, arrive fresh and sharp, and even how to avoid the dreaded helmet hair. The Bolingbrook Park District has even put together this map outlining the bike trails, paths, and bike friendly streets in the area.
You can even get your coworkers involved and challenge them to accumulate miles and riding days. You can also get your workplace into the Bike to Work Challenge. It’s free.
If you give it a try, let me know how you did.