Author Archives: Erik
The fourth year of the Community Bikes Giveaway was held at the Northside Plaza in Oneida. It was anticipated that nearly 300 bikes will be placed at the giveaway for ages ranging from 5 to 75.
Originally posted by Syracuse Post Standard on Sunday, April 15.
By Michael Yeoman
Contributing Writer —
Lines started forming as early as 8 a.m. as eager children and adults anxiously awaited for the doors to open at 1 p.m. on this year’s annual Bike Day as 321 families in Madison County who may have otherwise not been able to afford one received bicycles.
Ainsley Penicle, 3, of Oneida Castle was in the front quarter of the line stretching from the former Rite-Aid store down to United Auto Parts at the North Side Shopping Center. She hoped to find a pink bicycle with training wheels so she could learn how to ride.
Inside, Community Bikes coordinator Chuck Fox held a last-minute meeting with a large group of volunteers who came out to help place the correct bike with each individual.
“Getting a bicycle today is going to make a big difference for a lot of these kids and families and they do appreciate it,” Fox said. He encouraged volunteers to make the experience as special and as positive for the recipient as possible.
Both older and newer bikes were donated by area residents throughout the year. “We have everything from tricycles to mountain bikes here today,” said Fox. Rows of tricycles, cruisers, hybrids, and mountain bikes sat polished up and ready to go. Volunteers had spent the winter months fixing up the donated bicycles and making them safe for their new owner.
As families entered the former Rite-Aid, they were greeted by a “mechanic” who walked with them to the bike an individual selected, helped them adjust the seat to its proper height and explain how to use the brakes and gears.
“This is super cool,” said Austin Ungler, 11, of Eaton, whose face was brimming with smiles as he guided his bike around the floor of the giveaway area. He was assisted by Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley, who was on hand with his wife, Carol, and several other volunteers to help to properly fit the helmets onto the heads of new owners.
“This is a great event. The kids get a good feeling about themselves with their new bicycles and have a safe bike to ride during the spring and summer months,” Riley said.
In addition to the bicycle and helmet, most of the bicycle recipients also received a lock to safely secure the bicycle at school or at work.
“We are extremely grateful to those individuals and organizations who donate their unused bicycles,” said Fox. “They have the satisfaction of knowing that a bike that may be sitting unused in their garage will be enjoyed by someone in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a bike.”
This year’s Community Bikes Program was the fourth annual giveaway in Madison County and the first held at the North Side Shopping Center. Previous years’ events have been at the Kallet Civic Center.
Fox also credits Community Action Partnership of Madison County for being an active partner with Community Bikes over the past four years and in helping to assemble a listing for the placement of bikes for this event with families and individuals in Madison County who are in need of one.
The local demand for bicycles exceeds the number given away at the annual distribution on Bike Day. “Every year it seems the demand increases. It could be a sign of the economy,” Fox said. Those who do not receive a bike at the annual giveaway are placed on a list and provided with a bicycle when one is received that meets their needs. Fox accepts donations year round to help meet the demands of this important program.
Originally posted by The Oneida Dispatch on 4/15.
HAMILTON — Community Bikes has received an increased number of donations in advance of the annual Bike Day Sunday, April 15, when more than 300 bicycles will be placed with families in Madison County who can’t afford one.
Community Bikes coordinator Chuck Fox said that bike donations are critical to the success of the project. “We are extremely grateful to those individuals and organizations who donate their unused bicycles,” said Fox. “They have the satisfaction of knowing that a bike that may be sitting unused in their garage will be enjoyed by someone in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a bike.” He noted that, while the Bike Day is scheduled for Sunday, April 15 bike donations are needed and welcome year round.
Fox said the organization seeks bikes of all descriptions and for all ages, and that bikes should be in good to excellent working condition.
There are several drop off locations around the county including the First Baptist Church in Chittenango, St. James Church in Cazenovia, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Oneida, Community Action Partnership in Canastota and the Community Bikes workshop at 40 Milford St. in Hamilton. In some cases pick up of bikes can be arranged.
Community Bikes annual Bike Day Sunday will be held at the former Rite Aid Building in the Northside Shopping Plaza on North Main Street in Oneida from 1-3 p.m. Bike recipients must be present and pre-registered to receive a bike.
Posted by Oneida Dispatch on April 06, 2012
In the spring of 2012, Community Bikes is sending 75 bikes, helmets and locks to the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The pilot program is the result of a partnership with Colgate University alumna Kathryn Bertine, who is training to qualify in women’s cycling for the 2012 summer Olympics in London, representing St. Kitts and Nevis.
St. Kitts and Nevis is a country of 41,000 people. Featuring breathtaking beauty and a developing tourism industry, the island is also dealing with major issues related to youth drug use and gang violence.
Tuesday morning, a tractor-trailer from Canastota edged down Milford Street an onto Lebanon on the first leg of a journey to get bicycles and medical supplies from here to the small Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The truck carried 11 pallets of bikes, helmets and locks from Community Bikes and donated medical supplies. Some 75 bicycles were first bound to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, where they would be loaded onto massive cargo planes for the trip to the Caribbean. Once there, the government of the two islands would distribute the bikes to children and adults in need.
Children in St. Kitts and Nevis will benefit from a zeal for wheels that is shared by two Colgate alumni from different generations. Thanks to a collaboration between Chuck Fox ’70 and Kathryn Bertine ’97, 75 gently used bicycles will be shipped to the small Caribbean islands, where they then will be distributed to elementary and middle schoolers.
Fox’s Community Bikes program already provides approximately 300 newly restored bicycles per year to people in Madison County who otherwise couldn’t afford one. He’s always wanted to expand the initiative, and with the help of Bertine, it’s gone global.