Friday, February 10, 2012

Workin' For His Wheels: Roll It Forward Bike Recipient Michael Abreu

Over the past week or so we've had a special guest in the Boston Bike Mines — Michael Abreu, a kid from Hyde Park who happens to go to high school in Brighton. Michael McKittrick, a teacher at Brighton High informed Roll It Forward that Michael Abreu had gotten his bike stolen and that he was devastated by the event, McKittrick wondered if we could find a way to get Abreu on a new bike.

Not long after that Michael Abreu was down in the Bike Mines, up to his elbows in bike grease, performing a complete overhaul on a pristine steel-lugged Trek road bike from the 80s. Michael showed incredible natural ability — never having to be told or shown how to perform a task more than once. He even remembered which items on a bike are left-hand thread (something even a seasoned mechanic screws up from time to time).

Michael blew through basic bike maintenance tasks like adjusting brakes and derailleurs, breezing through wheel-truing, moving right up to the overhauling of the bottom bracket, hubs, and headset. And when he was done doing everything that could possibly be done to his bike, he immediately offered to help out with working on bikes for other Roll It Forward recipients. A class act all the way.

The plan is for Michael to ride from his home in Hyde Park to school in Brighton. For this mission Michael received some necessary accoutrements — a Bell helmet and a Kryptonite lock.

We want to thank Michael for his help and wish him luck in his ambitious commuting endeavor.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bunches Of Balance Bikes Delivered To Holland School

Yesterday Roll It Forward dropped off sixteen 12" and 16" wheeled kids bikes and sixteen helmets at the John P. Holland School in Dorchester. Most of these bikes are set up as "balance bikes" — The cranks and pedals have been removed to allow kids to learn to balance and steer before they become distracted by the secondary act of pedaling. At RIF and Youth Cycling Program, we teach a whole lot of kids to ride and this is far and away the best way to get kids rolling on two wheels.

The bikes will be a permanent fixture in the Kindergarten classrooms of Holland School, making learning to ride bikes a regular recess activity. We look forward to meeting a whole bunch of already-riding-kids the next time we visit the Holland for a Youth Cycling event!

And we have had some GREAT YCP events at the Holland School, check out the photos after the break...