BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Boston-based organization is refurbishing bicycles, and uses the practice as an opportunity to educate and vehicle for social change.
Bikes Not Bombs reclaims bikes out of the waste stream and brings them back to life, to redistribute back into Boston communities and beyond. WBZ's Karyn Regal spoke with the organization's Executive Director Elijah Evans, who says he's been with Bikes Not Bombs since he was 14 years old.
"Out of that program, not only did I emerge more confident, but I got a bicycle out of it. It really opened me up to the City of Boston. Rehabbing a bike, the experience of fixing it and bringing it back to life can apply directly to any sort of problem in someone's life or in communities all around the country," Evans said.
Outside of their workshop in Jamaica Plain, a so-called "bike graveyard" hosts plenty of parts that will be used to make rideable models.
"We collect about 5,000 bikes a year," Evans said.
Bikes Not Bombs also hosts their annual "Bike-A-Thon" in September as a fundraiser for the organization's social justice projects and education programs for youth and adults looking to get hands-on skills. Separate rides travel 10, 30, 50, and 100 miles, each with their own routes and rest stops.
BNB's Bike Shop & Vocational Training Center, Evans says, is full-service and has a team of professional mechanics to recycle, refurbish, sell, and donate used and forgotten bikes.
"The experience of building up something that you can then use to take you places— places that you've never been before, is really empowering."
WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports.