June 24, 2007 – NYTimes Blog Features Working Bikes


New York Times Opinions blogger Will Okun mentioned Working Bikes in a post for the blog, Two For The Road, about his travels in Rwanda, Congo, and Burundi.

Okun writes:

I love to ride my bike but there is no way I could manage these hills, especially not carrying 150 extra pounds of passenger. Their stamina and strength are astonishing.

And they are not riding the fancy 20-speed Schwinn zipping around flat-as-a-pancake Chicago. The bikes are old and ragged, but rugged. And treasured. The young men take great care of their bikes, washing them in the lakes every morning.

This is why programs like the Working Bikes Cooperative in Chicago deserve support. Working Bikes (www.workingbikes.org) salvages trashed bikes in Chicago, repairs them, and redistributes the bikes both locally and internationally. As their website points-out, (due to wage differences) “a bicycle worth $20 in Chicago can be worth the equivalent of $1,000 in Africa.

Those that cannot afford bicycles build these homemade wooden scooters, which looks like something off of the “Mad Max” movie set.