According to the Pew Research Center, over 50% of households in the United States already own a bicycle. Building a force for biking in Baltimore requires removing as many barriers to biking as possible. That means making sure people have access to a working bike.
Every bike will need service and repair from time to time. But if you don’t have a bike shop in your neighborhood, where do you go? Something as simple as changing a flat becomes a burden, and that bike ends up collecting dust. So instead of giving away bikes, we believe the best way to get more people on bikes is to fix the bikes they already have — right in their own neighborhood.
In 2016 we hosted our first Mobile Bike Shop. Over the past four years this volunteer led program has grown exponentially, adding new community partners and going to new neighborhoods every year. This spring we were awarded the competitive Catalyst Grant from the City of Baltimore. This grant allowed us to hire a full time staff person to operate the Mobile Bike Shop year round, reach more neighborhoods, and fix more bikes.
Menelik Yeha joined our team in August. Under his leadership, we have been able to run more Mobile Bike Shops in the past four weeks than that first summer in 2016. Menelik has been a cyclist in Baltimore for 20 years and brings with him his combined passion for transportation and cycling. We are so excited Menelik has joined the team.
We overcame the barrier to hire a full time staff person. Now we need your help to ensure we can meet the demand and give more people access to a working bike.
$500 = brings the Mobile Bike Shop to a neighborhood without a bike shop
$100 = transports the team and tools to a single event
$50 = fixes five flat tires
$30 = pays a mechanic for two hours