Sunday, November 23, 2014
2014 Gratitude Festival Day #20: Salt Lake Bicycle Collective
So. Tonight it became clear, once again, why I love working for YouthCity. One of the backbones of our program are our community partnership and tonight I got to take a van full of sassy Latino teenage girls (and one very love able and brave fifteen year old boy) to the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective for their weekly Earn-a-Bike class. The mission of the Bicycle Collective is as follows: “to promote cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation and as a cornerstone of a cleaner, healthier, and safer society. The Collective provides refurbished bicycles and educational programs to the community, focusing on children and lower income households.” YouthCity has had a longstanding partnership with the Bike Collective for well over a decade and we’ve sent hundreds of kiddos to these weekly classes. When you give a kid a bike you change the landscape and scope of their whole world…and when a kid learns how to build their own bike…two wheels, some miss-matched brakes, and a once rusty chain quickly transition from a bunch of random parts into endless tickets to freedom and exploration.
I have not been to the Bike Collective in years and I so loved walking into their large garage where random bicycle parts hang from every square inch knowing that anyone can walk in and get help building or repairing a bike. This faithful non-profit has come a long way in the last decade and it was exciting to see each workbench full of bike enthusiasts happily tinkering, creating and constructing. Grateful for the smell of greasy tools and grimy hands. Grateful for the rows and rows of bicycle rims, handle bars, cross bars, and fenders. Grateful for the bins and cans and boxes of random gears and breaks and spokes and chains. Grateful to know these bike enthusiast not only recycle just about everything…but they will happily show you how everything works. Grateful for the wall of well used tools and loved on workbenches. Grateful to know that there is not only room for all…but all are welcome. Grateful for the encouraging words spoken by the Bike Collective staff to our sassy-pants ladies…whose well-manicured hands confidently grabbed well-worn wrenches and greasy sockets and knew exactly what to do with them. Long live the Salt Lake Bicyclist Collective.