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Review for Community Bike Works, Allentown, PA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Community Bike Works (CBW) is a wonderful organization which teaches life lessons through bicycles. They serve students, 2nd through 9th grade, in the Lehigh Valley area of PA. I first learned of CBW in 2013 and immediately began volunteering as a mentor in their flagship, Earn-a-Bike program. It’s a 12-week, 24 hour course in bicycle mechanics and safety, pairing students with adult and peer mentors. After completing the course the students earn the refurbished bike they fixed and a new bike helmet. Earn-a-Bike has an extremely well designed curriculum which focuses on team work. I quickly realized that the Earn-a-Bike program is the “hook” to get the students in the door, and once engaged, CBW offers them a multitude of mentoring programs: Earn-a-Book, After-School Drop-In and Youth Leadership for career exploration and community involvement. Students can even get their first job as a Youth Apprentice. CBW provides healthy snacks and students get plenty of exercise participating in various cycling programs: Saturday trail rides, track cycling, long-distance road riding and mountain biking. Students learn discipline and perseverance and work with great role models including community leaders and champion cyclists. After seeing the wonderful results of its programs, I was also “hooked”. I began serving on its Board of Directors in 2014 and I am a very active volunteer. I love joining the students on the Saturday trail rides and the long-distance road rides. It is amazing how CBW helps break down social, racial, gender and generational barriers with its cycling programs.

Role:  Board Member