The simplicity of the bike, two wheels and a frame, sometimes downplays how much a bike can change a person’s life. There is the simple method of change which is giving people a means to get to point A to point B. There are the health benefits that people get from riding their bikes around time, breathing in fresh air, and giving themselves time to clear their minds and meditate. In a country like the United States these are the benefits that we think of first.
Bikes are also vehicles for change on a greater societal level. There are several organizations throughout the United States and around the world that elevate the power of the simple bike by changing people’s lives.
There are organizations such as Bikeworks in Seattle that works to grow bike awareness in young people and encouraging adults to support the mission through volunteerism. Or, Denver Food Rescue which uses volunteers who ride bikes outfitted with bike trailers and pick up food that would otherwise be thrown away. Once this food is picked up, it is taken to an organization that will distribute the food to people who need it.
There’s also Bicycles for Humanity or Wheels to Africa organizations in different parts of the United States that run donation drives to collect bikes to be donated and sent to Africa. Helping individuals by providing a means of transport that doesn’t need gasoline or a lot of maintenance.
Bikes also promote healthy living, for some frugal lifestyle, and environmental awareness. It is amazing to think that something as simple as riding a bike can make such an amazing difference to an individual or a community. Bikes also make the volunteer much more accessible to the people that are being helped.
It is amazing to think that people can use the bike as a vehicle for social good. If your community doesn’t have an organization such as the ones described above, consider creating one (do extensive research first). Or, you could throw a one time bike drive to collect well-loved bikes to distribute to people in your community who might not have access to a vehicle but need some type of transportation.