Ritchie Vaughan started our Bicycles for Refugees Program. After many years of hard work, Ritchie and the Coalition are looking for folks who might be interested in taking on a lead role with this awesome initiative.
For those of you unfamiliar with this Program, here’s a short primer. Bikes for Refugees (B4R) is split into 2 different programs:
- We coordinate with the local Refugee Resettlement Office to teach biking classes to refugees who want a bicycle for transportation. Some of these classes are one-on-one if we are teaching a brand-new cyclist how to bike, and sometimes we have up to a dozen students all learning the rules of the road together. At these classes, we give each student a helmet, a pump, and a free bicycle. Each household also gets a free floor pump so they can easily pump up their tires. Each class is typically 2-3 hours long; we start by helping the students fit their new helmets, fit their bikes, and practice pumping up their tires. Then we do some League of American Bicyclists parking lot exercises. We wrap up with a group bicycle ride to practice cycling in traffic on city roads. In most cases, the students live close enough that they ride their bicycles home at the end of the group ride.
- The second part of our programming is perfect for volunteers who love wrenching on bikes. We receive shop-quality bicycle donations from the community that we restore to donate to our students. We have a storage shed and a fully-outfitted bike workshop on Mt Clinton Pike. We also have some volunteers take bikes home to restore in their private home workshops at their leisure.
Here are our programming needs:
- More volunteers who want help to teach classes
- More volunteers who want to repair bicycles (at home or in our workshop)
- A volunteer to coordinate and be in charge of the refugee bicycling classes
- A volunteer to coordinate and be in charge of bicycle repairs/restorations
Interested in helping? Email, call, or text Ritchie:
More info about our B4R programming is here: