Matt Donahue

Friday, May 26, 2006

Chain Reaction

Fellow City Bikes team member, and Chain Reaction Director, Eric Welp asked me to put up a link to Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction is re-opening on June 1, at their new location- check out their site to learn more.

This photo/art/image is taken directly from Gwadzilla. I could not have set it up better, so there it is.

Gwadzilla also added a comment relating to my wife's bike being stolen and then returned. This is a segue into my rambling thoughts about kids, the city, kid's use of their time, and bikes.

The relationship between kids and bikes and what bikes can enable kids to do ties in well with what happened to my wife's bike and what Chain Reaction can provide. Not that bikes are some sort of all powerful answer to improving every child's life, but they can help to a certain degree. Chain reaction's mission
Chain Reaction educates youth about the role of the bicycle in sustainable communities, equips youth with job skills, and provides residents of Washington, DC, with safe, affordable, and pollution-free transportation.

is a great way for kids to learn to fix their own bikes and to see the value in community, their own talent and ability to learn new skills, stay fit riding bikes and have an outlet.

The kids in my alley regularly ride bikes. Some own their own, some don't. Yesterday Kievry(sp?) and his buddy were playing basketball back there. The buddy had a mountain bike with two very flat tires, no front brake and a rear brake that barely worked. I rolled through on my way home from work, saw this bike and immediately called the kid into the backyard. I broke out a few tools and the pump, inflated his tires and tightened up his rear brake. It's crazy that he was riding this bike around the neighborhood streets with essentially no way to stop. But this was a nice bike in comparison to many I've seen ridden around my area.

As much as possible I try to help the kids in my neighborhood with their bikes, small things, like tightening a handle bar, brake or seatpost or inflating a tire or two. It's apparent that they cannot do these things themselves, either lacking the know-how or equipment. It only takes a small amount of my time, and I think it fosters neighborly respect, and friendship. Maybe this helped get my wife's bike back. It certainly didn't hurt. Hopefully a connection through bikes provides a little chain reaction in my 'hood. (how poetic)


  • matt
    you got me on the hills yesterday
    I did not go fast or hard
    but I rode the hills
    fighting a cough and a cold
    did not want to ride at all

    years ago I worked at big wheel bikes they had a location at the eastern market
    it was a social service
    the kids were always coming by
    I worked on the bikes
    tried to mentor some of them
    and tried to keep their sticky fingers from taking anything that was not theirs

    it was a tough relationship
    I enjoyed it

    maybe you can help some of these kids directly
    or indirectly by putting them in touch with Chain Reaction

    I will keep my eyes on the dumpsters for a good bike for the kids

    lets ride
    gambril monday am?

    By Blogger gwadzilla, at 3:05 PM  

  • feel free to steal my images anytime!

    By Blogger gwadzilla, at 3:07 PM  

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