Girl Scouts Earn Bikes and Lesson in Building Them

essentialTOPtempGirl Scouts Earn Bikes and baby modern natural 01 adLesson in Building Them

(Girl Scouts of SE Michigan, Dec. 7, 2015)

Some lucky Girl Scouts recently earned free bicycles—and they REALLY earned them! Ten Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors learned how to completely take bikes apart and rebuild them as part of the Youth Earn-A-Bike program at Back Alley Bikes in Detroit. Best part? They got to keep the bikes!

“The Earn-A-Bike program was a wonderful gift for us,” said Linda Zurek, who attended the program with her daughter. “I was absolutely amazed at how much pride our daughter took in being able to work on her bike. She loved using the tools, and finding out that there is an inner CandleWickShoppe_Oakland115_144x260tube inside the tire that can be repaired.  When my daughter brought her bike home, she was so proud.  These types of programs are so important for building confidence in our daughter.”

The girls worked with each other and a volunteer mechanic instructor to learn how to take a bike apart and put it back together. It was a three-session class that ended in a group ride on the last day. In addition to keeping their bikes, the girls also received free helmets and locks. Back Alley Bikes is a 501(c)3 non-profit community bike shop, which has been operating in the Cass Corridor for 15 years.  They provide cycling education and services with a focus on youth development. Youth Earn-A-Bike (YEAB) is Back Alley Bikes’ core program.

“The girls learned how to take apart, service, and put back together a bottom bracket, they re-cabled and calibrated their brakes and shifters, and they learned how to fix flats,” said garden16_cherie_rolfeHeather Nugen of The Hub of Detroit.  The Hub of Detroit is a full service retail bike shop owned by Back Alley Bikes that sells used bikes & parts on behalf of Back Alley Bikes. “We teach the basics (flat fixing and tire pressure) alongside the more complex stuff (bottom bracket maintenance) and don’t differentiate, because we believe that skilled mechanics make better, more confident riders.”

The bikes that the girls worked on came from 16 bike shop donor partners all over the metro Detroit area, and from individual donations.

Learn more about Girl Scouts South East Michigan at www.gssem.org.

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