The forecast called for 90% chance of rain all day this past Friday – perfect weather for driving around a giant truck and picking up bicycles!
Our Community Cycling Program Manager, Jenny Duquette, and Youth Cycling Instructor, Kimel Williams, got an early start to the day and headed to Newton to visit our friends at International Bicycle Center (IBC) on Needham Street.
We arrived to find 107 (that’s right 107!!!) bikes waiting for us to pick up for the Roll it Forward program. IBC has a kid’s bike trade-up program and donates traded in bikes to Roll it Forward. Upon arrival, we shook hands and quickly got to work: trying to neatly put (stuff) the bikes into the truck – with the goal of fitting all 107 bikes into one 16 foot Penske box truck.
We were nearly victorious – we got 99 bikes in the truck before it became clear that we’d need to make a second trip. Luckily, our EMS Newton drop off location just up the road had another 7 bikes for us to pick up — making it a grand total of 114 donated bikes picked up in one rainy day!
What are we going to do with all these bikes you might ask? In anticipation of picking up so many bikes, we scheduled eight Roll it Forward giveaway events in the next 5 weeks, with the intention of distributing 146 bikes! These bikes will go out to children in Boston, in partnership with our community partners at the Franklin Park Coalition in Dorchester, Madison Park in Roxbury, the Boston Housing Authority in the South End, and the Martha Elliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain, to name a few. These bikes will provide recipients with a way to get around, a fun and easy way to exercise, and the opportunity to experience the sheer joy of riding a bicycle on a beautiful day.
Thanks a million to International Bicycle Centers for helping make the Roll it Forward program such a success!