Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg

You know, it’s recently occured to me that I haven’t given Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg enough time or space on this blog. It’s a wonderful organization and Ross Willard, who runs the show over there, is a phenomenal person.

I’ll start with the most pertinent information. Ross sends out emails every week or two with shop hours and updates. Here’s his most recent, from today:

The Bike Warehouse will be open:

Saturday  Feb  25      9 am to 11 am

Monday   Feb  27      12 noon to 3:30 pm

Tuesday   Feb  28       5 pm to 8 pm

Thursday  Mar   1       6 to 8 pm   Bike mechanic class with Ross —   No
earn a bike this night

Plus Bike the Burg will have a Bike Advocacy meeting on Wednesday Feb 29 at
The MidTown Book Scholar on 3rd Street, Hbg
Topic will be “Where do Bikes Belong – Street, Sidewalk, or where ???”

Other things happening elsewhere:

Russ Bahn’s Lions Club group will be at ACME Trailer in New Cumberland
Saturday morning fixing bikes.

Dickinson College’s Handlebar will be open Saturday from 1 to 3 pm

Thanks again,
Recycle Bicycle

As you can see, he gave the Handlebar a shoutout in this most recent email. If you’d like to be added to his list, email him.

Recycle Bicycle has been really instrumental in getting us started here at the Handlebar. Ross has been incredibly supportive, offering us time, (a lot of) advice, tools, bikes, parts, and some really sweet posters that you can see displayed in the Handlebar.

So, what they do: recycle bicycle fixes bikes for kids, for poor people, for people in halfway houses; basically, for anyone who needs some help or whose life can be enriched by riding a bike (everyone!). They offer an “earn a bike” program where two hours of volunteering can get you on two wheels. He also goes out onto the streets of Harrisburg and Carlisle with his trailer and fixes bikes for all. Ross places a lot of emphasis on brakes, a result, he says, of his experiences working for Meals on Wheels and one key observation he made while volunteering there. He realized that a person can go a week without a meal but without brakes on their bike, they may not make it through the next intersection. So, his policy (and a policy we’ve adopted as well) is that no bike goes out the door without brakes. If someone comes in with a BMX or trick bike without brakes, he refuses to work on any other part of the bike until he installs a brake. Undoubtedly, Ross has saved a lot of lives in our communities. He has, and continues to, improve a lot of lives as well.

So, that’s Recycle Bicycle. You should get out there and volunteer with Ross whether with the Handlebar group on a Thursday evening, by yourself, or with a group of friends (see the hours above). And if you’re looking for a bike, his “earn a bike” program is open to all and he’s open to swapping donations for bikes as well.

The greatest thing about bikes is the freedom they offer. Freedom from traffic (a lot of times), freedom from buying gas, and freedom to travel when and where you want. That freedom should  not only be available to those who can afford to purchase a bicycle so, thanks, Ross.




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