We all know that Bike New Yorkers are trailblazers, but 2019 was a BIG year for programming and development. Recycle-A-Bicycle Director Karen Overton looks back on some of 2019’s most exciting news.
Youth Bike Summit
In March, Bike New York welcomed 350 youth leaders and educators from around the country for the Youth Bike Summit’s first Queens event, a weekend-long conference made for sharing ideas, projects and progress in pursuit of a bike-friendlier world. It was a packed house with a packed schedule of programs and workshops, the majority of which were led by youth–a truly empowering experiences for young bike lovers. We were sure to round all the work out with ample fun: we threw a party at the Plaxall Art Gallery, built in plenty of hands-on activities during the conference (including crowd-pleasing roller races sponsored by Clif Bar), and a bike ride to wrap the weekend up on Sunday.
2019 YBS HOSTS AT Long Island City Artists and Plaxall Gallery, Middle College High School, and La Guardia Community College | 2019 YBS SPONSORS Clif Bar & Company, New York City Department of Transportation and Vision Zero, People For Bikes, Bare Snacks, FJC, JBI, and Timbuk2 | RAB PROGRAM SUPPORTERS AT The James Conlon Fund and Plaxall
Job Training Program with One Community
In June, Bike New York piloted an intensive bike mechanic training program. We connected with One Community, our new nonprofit partner dedicated to professional training and employment placement, to recruit and place candidates in roles with Citi Bike. Recycle-A-Bicycle provided 60 hours of instruction to 5 participants along with the helmets, locks, and bikes built by each student. After initial interviews, the students were trained over two weeks on specific Citi Bike models to ensure they were ready to take on their new jobs. We’re planning to start 2020 on a strong note by rolling out a more robust iteration of this program before the end of January.
NYC Council and Council Member Laurie Cumbo, Motivate, and Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership
The Bike Library
Bike New York was honored to take part in the public opening of Shirley Chisholm State Park this past July, announcing the launch of a free bike share pilot program–among the first of its kind in the US! Recycle-A-Bicycle hired five former participants in our Earn-A-Bike program from Pathways to Graduation, El Puente Academy for Peace & Justice, and Forest Hills High School to build 84 bikes and put them into circulation in the park, allowing visitors to “rent” rides from Thursday-Sundays through the early autumn.
During our initial three-month trial, the 84 bikes were taken on 8,585 rides, allowing park-goers to enjoy 10 miles of car-free pathways by the scenic Jamaica Bay. The cyclists we served came primarily from the surrounding neighborhoods, with 74% of bike share users hailing from Brooklyn. 34% of rides were taken by people under 18 years of age, and, excitingly, riders reflected an even gender split!
At our two Bike Library centers, we held Learn to Ride classes for kids and piloted a school Field Trip including a Parks-led environmental science workshop and Bike New York skills drills and ride. We’re thrilled that the Bike Library will return to get Brooklyn pedaling in the spring!
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, New York State Parks Connect Kids, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy
Recycle-A-Bicycle Shop Relocation
In August, Recycle-A-Bicycle made moves across Brooklyn, relocating from our long-time Dumbo shop to new grounds in nearby Clinton Hill. This exciting change was powered by the support of One Community and Citi Bike. Stop by to see what we have in store, chat with our knowledgeable and friendly staff and interns, and check out the new look and constant rotation of refurbished bikes. And if you visit on a weekend, you can really see our work in action–don’t be surprised to find Bike Maintenance 101 classes and One Community training sessions underway!