Earn-a-bike: Used bikes are donated to the bike center. We store them until needed. They may be used for our earn-a-bike program either as bikes to build for someone in the community or as bikes to be overhauled by one of our youth for their own use. Some of the more valuable bikes have been sold at the Maine Bike Swap, sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The proceeds have gone into the program. A youth looking for a bike may earn a bike in 3 different ways. He or she may build a bike for someone in the community to earn the bike for him or herself, then when done build their own bike. A youngster can also earn a $2 an hour credit by volunteering at the shop, taking apart bikes not worth fixing, cleaning bike parts, or participating in building community bikes. We price the bikes at $5-$10 a bike, depending on what it needs for parts, so a couple of afternoons volunteering at the bike center will earn enough credit for a bike. A youth looking to get wheels quickly can also donate the $5-$10 in cash. They still have to do the overhaul themselves however. Youth are aided in bike overhauls by staff or volunteers. This is the heart of the mentoring process, where mechanical skills and life skills are learned. When the bike is completed it goes through the G.O.G. (grumpy old guy) inspection to make sure its safe and roadworthy. We also offer to register the bike with the Sanford Police, and offer a free helmet to anyone who does not have one. Beneficiaries of the bicycles built for the community have included residents of Sweetsers, Spurwink and Caring Unlimited, an organization gathering Christmas presents, a reading program at the local school, and the Sanford Rec. department. Repairs: Youngsters can also bring in their own bikes for repair. There is no charge for staff or volunteer assistance with the repair, and used parts are priced at a $1 a part. Bike Rides: We also offer bike rides in season. This year we have been mountain biking the trails behind the Nasson Community Center. We are a Trips for Kids chapter (see http://www.tripsforkids.org) and have 5 of their Trek Mountain Bikes to use as well as some mountain bikes we have overhauled for our own use. Repair in the Park: In the summer staff travels to CarpentierPark during the free lunch program to perform mobile repair. We provided â€œtriage repairâ€ to a number of bicycles, pumping up tires attaching wheels and chains and making brakes function. More serious repairs were referred to the bike center.
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