Posted By: Camila Orti
A local organization wants to help the people of Lincoln get on bikes.
The Bike Kitchen has been around since 2010 but they recently moved to their new location at 1st and Garfield streets. Volunteers want to invite the community to celebrate their growth with a Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 7.
So, what is the Bike Kitchen?
This non-profit organization helps people in the community fix up their bicycles or get a used one for free- sort of. Volunteer mechanic B. J. Green says it takes a little elbow grease.
"It gives people a sense of independence, they come here, they earn a bike, we don't just give it to them, they earn it," Green said.
To earn a bike, you have to put in 20 hours of volunteer work at the Bike Kitchen. As part of that work, other mechanics demonstrate how to take apart and fix bikes with used parts.
Vincent Capps is in the process of earning his bike.
"I need it pretty badly because I don't have any other way to get to work and I need to get a job and everything like that so, it'll be great, it'll open up doors for me," Capps said.
Green says the Bike Kitchen has done more than 150 repairs and given out 40 bikes since moving to their new location in June, something that wouldn't have even been possible without volunteers and bike donations.
"We strip the bikes of usable parts and then we recycle everything that possibly can be recycled," Green said.
Ricardo, 14 years old, is already a natural when it comes to bikes; he earned his from the kitchen not too long ago. He says fixing the flat tire was no problem at all.
"They taught me a lot here," Ricardo said.
According to Green, that's the Bike Kitchen philosophy- get people on a bike and let them ride away with some new skills.
The Grand Opening begins at noon on Saturday. Organizers say there will be plenty of games, races and food to entertain the whole family. The grills will be fired up at 4 p.m., and live music begins at 6 p.m.
All events are free to the public, but donations are appreciated.
For more information, visit the Bike Kitchen Facebook page by clicking here.