2012 Winter Bike Build - Building Bikes for Communities in Need
This winter, Neighborhood Bike Works is partnering with CH2M Hill to offer a dynamic leadership training and service learning program for our program graduates. Over the course of 4 weeks, a team of 21 youth will build 300 brand new bicycles to be donated to community centers around the Philadelphia region.
The program gives NBW youth a chance to practice their bike mechanic skills and earn some cash before the holidays, since built into the program is an incentivized stipend that youth earn per bike they successfully build.
This year, the program will be offered in West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia, so that graduates of our many programs throughout the city can participate. Volunteers from across the city, and from CH2M Hill, will be joining the youth as they install handlebars and breaks, tighten bolts, and work together to build these bikes before the holidays.
Bike Sale at the Bikery
All this week we’re having a bike sale at our South Philly location, The Bikery. The Bikery is located at 508 S. 5th St. and it’s packed with donated bikes that have been fixed up for the sale. This time of the year, we’re clearing out our overstock to make room for new winter projects. We have bicycles of varying styles and sizes, including kids bikes.
As always, all sales benefit Neighborhood Bike Works’ youth cycling programs such as Earn a Bike, Drop In, Summer Camps, the Youth Bike Summit and more.
The sale is going on through Sunday, November 11th. Drop by any day between now and November 11th 3pm-7pm and take a look at what we’ve got. With the season of snow and icy rain upon us, take a look at some of our Hybrids and Mountain bikes. The knobby tires add extra traction on slippery roads.
Changes at the Haddington Shop
After 10 years of operating a Neighborhood Bike Works site in the Haddington neighborhood of West Philadelphia, we have made the difficult decision to move out of our bike shop on N. Salford Street. Our programming at the site is currently on hold. We are committed to continuing our work in West Philadelphia, and are looking for community partners interested in working with us to offer Earn-a-Bike at their locations in early 2013.
This is not an easy decision for the Neighborhood Bike Works community. Over 2,000 youth, adults, and volunteers have participated in our programs in Haddington, building bikes and exploring the area around Cobbs Creek and beyond. We are proud to have participated in the Haddington Youth Development Initiative, and look forward to continue working with our many community partners in the neighborhood. However, alongside our successes, we have faced serious challenges as an organization, chief among them the challenge of raising funds. It is clear that we can no longer continue to sustain our full network of bike shops.
We see our move out of the Haddington shop as a transition toward offering more sustainable programming. We are currently in discussion with several potential partners about sharing space, and hope to offer youth programs in the neighborhood very soon.
Our first priority is that the Neighborhood Bike Works network remain a resource for the youth we serve in Philadelphia. Youth who have participated in programs at the Haddington shop are welcome to attend Drop-In sessions, Group Rides, and other youth programs at our 40th Street and North Philadelphia locations. Both locations are accessible by public transportation, and have a full schedule of youth programming set for this academic year.
Our most important task is to continue to provide educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities to Philadelphia’s underserved youth. By consolidating our sites, we will be able to offer solid youth programs and establish strong partnerships with other groups and individuals. We are grateful for the continued community support in Haddington and beyond, and look forward to future involvement in the neighborhood.
If you have questions about this transition, please call our main office at 215-386-0316.
Bike Build for Toddlers and Tykes!
In September, five of our older youth joined a group of 100 stockbrokers in Center City for a corporate team-building event. Through the partnership with Neighborhood Bike Works, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, and Caring People Alliance, a whole lot of good was passed along!
On a Wednesday evening, NBW youth rode downtown to the Sheraton where they were welcomed by 35 bicycles and tricycles and a few dozen people in ties and heels. Soon, teams of men and women pulled frames and wheels out of boxes and reached for the nearest Allen wrench. It was an unusual sight: youth in yellow shirts, jeans, and sneakers amidst a roomful of professional financiers. Our youth went to work right away, sharing their knowledge and skills in bike building and giving advice to those who were certain they were doing it right. They circled the room, testing brakes and tightening screws. Our pack of yellow shirts became sought-after guides in the bike-building process. They not only safety-checked the bikes, but also taught many of the tricks they’ve learned in Earn-A-Bike classes to a group of novices several years their senior.
At the end of the event, the youth spoke on their experience. One noted how hard it is to explain a mechanical solution without making the adults feel like they had done something wrong. The youth were certainly experts in the room, earning the adults’ respect because of their unique skills and their willingness to share their knowledge. The evening certainly left all of us at NBW in awe of what is possible with just a group of people, a little bit of time, and a whole lot of investment into spreading generosity. For our youth, this experience was truly transformative, giving them a chance to step up as leaders with a group of people with whom they rarely interact otherwise. For the children at Caring People Alliance, we hope that the new bikes encourage them to ride, have fun, and simply be kids!
Big Bike Sale!
Time again for the annual fall bike sale, with a new-to-you line up of yesterday’s hottest two-wheeled travelers. Prices start at $25 and increase based on the quality and condition of the bicycle. Most bikes for sale will need some kind of repair or maintenance to get them riding again, as such all sales are final (sorry folks, no refunds or exchanges given so please shop carefully).
Thank you to our Norristown community for three great years!
After three successful years of youth programming at our satellite location in Norristown, NBW staff, Board of Directors, and an extremely dedicated group of volunteers has decided to close down our operation in Norristown. The Norristown site grew out of a demonstrated need for positive youth recreation in Norristown, and the community rose to the challenge of building and sustaining the program. Over the years, our volunteers recruited participants for twice-a-year Earn-A-Bike programs, led and assisted with group rides, and maintained a network of community partnerships. All of us at Neighborhood Bike Works are grateful for the tireless energy and enthusiasm of our network of volunteers!
In the end, we collectively decided that NBW – our staff and volunteers – could no longer sustain a program in Norristown. Our Norristown Earn-A-Bike graduates, of which there are many, are always welcome to participate in NBW programs at our locations in Philadelphia. To learn more about those programs and locations, click here.
It is our hope that many of our volunteers and youth in Norristown will stay involved in NBW’s programs. Those interested should call 215-386-0316 to find out about our ongoing programs and volunteer opportunities.
The Cyclenauts at the 2012 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby
40th Street Artist-in-Residence artists Michael Konrad and Jim Garvey teamed up with youth from Neighborhood Bike Works in Philadelphia to design and build a rideable “flying saucer” sculpture for the 2012 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. The kids participated in all stages of the project from concept, design, construction, welding, costumes, decoration, and finally riding in the parade. We won the Judge’s Choice Award!
EAB Celebrates with a Big Check
Neighborhood Bike Works was selected to receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm as part of its Cause an Effect Program. Over a period of one month, Facebook users voted among 100 Causes for the Top 40 most deserving. The big check was presented at the 40th Street Earn-A-Bike graduation. Thanks to your support, we are able to fund more of our after-school Earn-a-Bike programs and continue to increase opportunities for youth through bicycling.
Help Us Win a $25,000 Grant to Fund Earn-a-Bike Classes
Neighborhood Bike Works has been selected as one of the 100 Causes finalists in the Cause An Effect program, a State Farm crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative which lets communities determine where grant funding is awarded, exclusively through Facebook. We have the potential to receive a $25,000 grant to fund Earn-a-Bike classes for youth, helping us achieve our mission to increase opportunities for youth through bicycling.
Our submission, along with the other finalists, are live on Facebook and anyone with a Facebook account can log on and vote for our Cause. You can vote for us up to 10 times each day! The 40 Causes that receive the most votes will be announced on May 22, and a $25,000 grant will be awarded to the affiliated nonprofits to implement the solution.
To support Neighborhood Bike Works and vote, visit the State Farm Facebook page by clicking here, then click on the “Vote” button to show your support for Earn-a-Bike Education at NBW.You can also copy and paste this URL: www.facebook.com/statefarm/app_376288832400015?app_data=Earn-a-Bike-Education
The voting phase is open from April 27 – May 17 and any Facebook user is eligible to vote for our Cause up to 10 times per day.
If NBW is voted one of the Top 40 causes, we will receive a $25,000 grant, which would fund five after-school Earn-a-Bike classes, providing a total of 60 youth with eight weeks of enriching programming, where they will learn the value of working towards a goal and completing a complicated, multi-step project; be introduced to safe urban riding, health and nutrition; and receive homework help and tutoring. $25,000 in support of this cause would go a long way to increase opportunities for youth in our community.
PRESS RELEASE: NBW ANNOUNCES ERIN DECOU AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rebecca Morley
NEIGHBORHOOD BIKE WORKS ANNOUNCES ERIN DECOU
AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
PHILADELPHIA, April 23, 2012 – Today the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Bike Works, a nonprofit educational organization in Philadelphia that seeks to increase opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods through bicycling, announced the selection of Erin DeCou as its new Executive Director. She will begin as executive director effective today.
Neighborhood Bike Works conducted an extensive candidate search, and after a six-month process, is pleased to appoint DeCou as the organization’s next leader. Working from its main location in West Philadelphia, DeCou will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Neighborhood Bike Works including financial and program development, management of its five locations and retail operations, and increasing the organization’s partnerships with the City of Philadelphia and other local partners.
DeCou is a cyclist, educator, and nonprofit manager with experience in a variety of programs, including initiatives involving the local food, environmental and arts communities. DeCou led Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens as its first Executive Director until 2009, and continues to serve as a member of its Board of Directors. During her time as Executive Director, DeCou launched the Magic Gardens’ education programs, which today serves more than 4,000 youth and adults annually through tours, hands-on arts activities, and long-term partnerships with local schools. DeCou also previously managed youth education programs for Greener Partners’, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing communities together through local food and farms.
She completed a Master of Public Administration in Community Development from Rutgers University, and finished her degree with a five month engagement in Karnataka, India developing an organic coffee and spice growers’ cooperative that is still thriving today.
“We could not be happier to have Erin join the Neighborhood Bike Works family. She brings with her a strong passion for empowering youth and adults to live sustainable, healthy lives, and has a love for cycling that is contagious,” said Neighborhood Bike Works President Sergio Armani. “Our program has made a tremendous impact on the local community, but there is still more work to be done, and I know Erin will lead us to new heights as we continue to transform the lives of the youth we serve, one bike at a time.”
About Neighborhood Bike Works
Neighborhood Bike Works is a nonprofit educational organization in Philadelphia that seeks to increase opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods in greater Philadelphia by offering educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities through bicycling; it also promotes cycling as a healthy, affordable, environment-friendly form of transportation.
Started in 1996 as Youth Cycle & Recycle, a program of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Neighborhood Bike Works incorporated as a non-profit in July 1999. We expanded to the Haddington neighborhood in 2003, and opened the North Philadelphia Neighborhood Shop in 2009. The North Philly shop is also our sales and service location, and operates a fully functioning repair shop. In 2010, our South Philadelphia satellite program opened a location on 5th Street between Lombard and South. Today, we hold programming at four permanent sites, our satellite location in Norristown, PA, and in several public schools and community centers. Call to find out about an Earn-a-Bike class near you!