Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bikes bring people together

The dark days of winter are over, and kids are repairing bikes in KCK again! Classes at Grandview Park Presbyterian and the Bethel Neighborhood Center are booming, and bikes are really starting to take hold in the community. The La Paz House even has a mini-bike shop in the Sunday School wing of a church!   

With the nice little shop and some one-on-one time, we can restore bikes to better-than-new, which is a great feeling.  This guy spent a bunch of time making sure the fenders on a little girl's bike don't rattle and still keep everything clean and dry. I sincerely hope its new owner appreciates the care that has gone into this bike.

Bethel Neighborhood Center

Whew! These multilingual classes are exhausting! I'm not even sure how many languages are going on in the basement rec room of the Bethel Center, but I do know that these kids are being awesome and helping each other without a second thought to make sure that everyone is up to the minute on what's going on.  They help each other learn the parts of the bike (it's only sort of a "test"):

And, of course, nothing brings people together like the communal grease bucket! This group started the day totally close-mouthed and so shy I wasn't totally sure that they were actually talking, and hear they are comparing notes on the optimal amount of grease for headset bearings. 

This picture shows what FreeWheels is all about.  You'll notice that an adult is helping a student, but the adult's hands are nowhere near the bike; that kid is making this happen on. his. own. (He's going to have a hard time, too! That bike is a hot mess, but next week it will be ready for a new rider, all thanks to this kid.)

 I can't end this post without a shout-out to this guy, who helped keep everything running smoothly by keeping trash picked up and making sure others did the same, all after knocking out a headset overhaul in record time!

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