What happens when a shiny new bike catches your eye? If you already have a trusty two-wheeler parked in your garage, the internal conflict begins:
No, I really shouldn’t. Besides, old faithful back at home has gotten me through thick and thin, not to mention the fact that it’s still in pretty good shape. Yeah, but I deserve something new. And this one has flames leaping off the frame. Totally smokin’! If you’re so crazy about goofy graphics, then just paint them on your old bike. There. Problem solved! No, it’s more than the paint job. This one is tricked out with a coffee cup holder. I need that. Now. The color-matched fenders aren’t too shabby, either. Oh gosh, would you just listen to yourself? You don’t want to be like all of the other hyper-consumers out there dazzled by the latest, greatest shiny toy, do you? Actually, yes, I really do. Why should they have all the fun?Whatever the specific circumstances surrounding our old bicycle purging and consequent upgrading, a substantial number of them (at least in the U.S.) are ultimately either abandoned or far worse — thrown away. Meanwhile, there are individuals around the world who, due to financial hardship and/or familial circumstances, lack basic access to more convenient and efficient modes of transportation such as biking. Even more surprisingly, many of those people happen to live in our neck of the woods. This reality inspired Recycle-A-Bicycle, a New York City-based nonprofit organization, to kill several birds with one stone by implementing the following sustainable goals:
- Foster youth-based environmental education, cultural arts programs and job training in the community to spread the good green word about how bicycles can maintain our fitness as well as that of the planet.
- Inspire the younger generation to recognize the value of volunteerism.
- Keep approximately 1,200 unwanted two-wheelers out of area landfills annually.
- Create three centrally located NYC bicycle shops that not only offer affordable refurbished models, but also full-service repairs, harvested parts and even new biking accessories.