SecondChanceBikes.org

Return to homepage

We are a volunteer organization committed to helping people in need 
receive, operate, and maintain bicycles.
Donated bikes
All sorts of bicycles are donated for refugees and needy; some directly to refugee support organizations, others through other charities or directly to us. Some are in excellent condition, but most need work. Some require just minor tire repair, adjustments, and cleaning; others need more serious repairs to mechanical components.
We get some bikes that are reparable but  at a greater cost than we can handle in volume.  Sometimes wheels are damaged  beyond straightening, making an otherwise good bicycle unusable.  Frequently shift mechanisms are faulty due to corrosion or damage. 

If we have funds available we  can repair these bikes; otherwise we donate them to Working Bikes, a much larger organization in Chicago with a similar charter for a broader audience or use them for parts and recycle the rest.

Preparation
We get them ready for their new owner. We perform minor repairs like patching or replacing tubes, replacing cables & brake shoes, making adjustments, and lubricating.
 

We clean them, using auto detailing methods to make the bikes look as new as possible. For adult bikes intended for commuting to work, we try to add luggage racks or baskets when possible.

Training
Frequently the new owner is not familiar with hand brakes and multiple gears, having only ridden bikes with one speed and coaster brake. We offer to teach them these features and take them out for a ride, coaching on when to shift until they get the concept.


Maintenance
Maintaining a bicycle requires some basic understanding. We offer guidance in such things as adjusting brakes, tightening chains on  single-speed models, adjusting slack in shift cables. We hope to establish a "service contract" type of arrangement for those who rely on the bike for work. Some people just aren't adept at tinkering with cable tensions or fixing flat tires, but rely on the bike like they would public transportation if it were available for their commute.
Who gets bikes
Case workers at agencies identify people with specific need for a bike to get or keep a job. These are our top priority. They decide to supply it and draw  from the stockpile of client-ready bikes we have prepped. We only meet the recipients if they want training after they have been provided a bike.

Childrens bikes are also allocated by the agencies however they wish; frequently as birthday presents.

Return to homepage