Press the Pedals
Bikes for Community College Students from all over the world
Over the past few weeks WeCycle volunteers have had the pleasure of rehoming high quality bikes with students from Community College. These bikes will be used in a learn to ride program to enhance the students connection to each other and the broader community. The volunteers certainly feel a connection with these new community members from Iran, Morroco, Turkey, Venuzuela and Peru.
It is great to hear from those who have received a bicycle from WeCycle. Solomon received a bicycle with a purpose fitted child seat to take his son to kindergarten during the week. Solomon and his young son previously had to walk for over an hour to get to the kindergarten leaving both Solomon and his son tired and exhausted. With the bike, the trip to kindergarten takes only 20 minutes and Solomon’s son is a lot more eager now to get to kindergarten finding the trip on the back of the bike fun.
“My son waves to everyone from his bicycle seat as he gets to kindergarten. He loves that he is ridden to school while others are driven.”
On the 6th of May, WeCycle hosted a Community Action day as part of the multi-day SHORE in NARRM project (Melbourne) an installation of four equal parts; Community Action, Story, Performance and Feast.
Emily Johnson is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow who makes body-based work. Originally from Alaska and now based in New York, she is of Yup’ik descent, and since 1998 has created work with her company – Emily Johnson/Catalyst – that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance.
The Community Action Day commenced with a acknowledgment of country.
Emily Johnson then provided a background of SHORE in NAARM and invited the participants to get to work on the bicycles.
Volunteers were guided by the WeCycle team through the various work stations either washing the bikes, pumping tyres and patching tubes, stripping irreparable bikes for parts, assessing bikes against the checklist, adjusting brakes and generally bringing the bicycles up to good condition.
Five completed bicycles were then taken by the Arts House team to St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre to hand over to the school at the second Community Action Day being held on the Sunday. This Community Action Day involved developing a school garden, planting around the playground and painting of some outdoor areas.
We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to all those who participated in this productive and engaging session that captured the SHORE project’s intention of “A gathering; a merging of art and life, history and movement; a meditation on places of belonging – SHORE in NARRM: Community Action literally (re)connects people to country around them.”
Many thanks to Arts House, City of Melbourne for inviting WeCycle to be a part of this Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival project.
Emily Johnson speaks to Patricia Karvelas, ABC National about her day spent with WeCycle on Saturday, 6 May as part of the SHORE in Narrm Project .
Originally from Alaska, Emily is of Yup'ik and based in Minneapolis and New York. Emily is an artist who makes body-based work
SHORE in NARRM (Melbourne) is a multi-day performance installation of four equal parts: Community Action, Story, Performance and Feast.
Click Below To Listen
Wecycle has moved into a new home. We are located in Batman Park on the corner of St georges road and Arthurton road. This is where we will be fixing bikes up and getting them ready to give them out to asylum seekers and refugee communities and any one else in need.
If any one is interested we are in need of volunteers to assist with the repair of bicycles to be re-homed. If you want to volunteer please contact Gayle on 0405 042 022
We are still figuring out times when we will be there so just refer to our Facebook page to find out.
WeCycle was awarded best Community Project for City of Darebin - joint winners with Save our Citrus at the City of Darebin and Banyule 2016 Sustainability Awards.
Community project - Recognises the efforts and actions of people who deliver a project in the community which enhances or protects the natural environment, helps people live more sustainability or increases the sustainability of local communities.
Craig and I believe bicycles are an affordable and sustainable means of transport that helps address community concerns about pollution, our reliance on fossil fuels and traffic congestion.
Bicycles are also a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy. Riding a bicycle is fun and an accessible way to connect with your community through a shared experience.
Recycling discarded and unwanted bicycles is also a great way to reduce landfill and demonstrate that repairing and re-using is a sustainable approach to everyday life that will save you money and reduce the environmental impact our rampant consumerism has on the planet.
Wecycle volunteers attended a bicycle mechanic's workshop at Good cycles, Dockland to improve their bike repair skills
Thanks everyone for the fantastic support and generous donations.
The bikes were beginning to pile up in our one car garage, so far, so good!
But there is no point collecting all of these push-bikes, cleaning them up and making repairs, if we didn't have anyone to benefit from them.
We put the word out.
Through our friend Helen, from the Community Leaders in Sustainability program we were introduced to Julia at the Jesuit Social Services, she was kind enough to put us onto a couple of refugee/asylum seeker support groups.
Gayle can tell the rest of the story:
"I sent an email to Clara at Foundation House who sent it out to the team of councilors.
Just got a phone call from one of the councilors Mike who has a young Iranian asylum seeker who lives at a community housing complex. He had two or three bikes previously that have been stolen, there is a problem with bike theft at the housing complex."
Perfect! One men's bike and one big-ass lock to keep it where he put it!
A couple of days later Gayle and I met The young man and handed over a freshly serviced Kona Mountain bike, ready to go with a chunky lock.
A quiet spoken and friendly guy, who has been in Australia for the past three years on a bridging visa awaiting paperwork to be processed for permanent residency.
We wish our new friend the best for the future and hope that his bike gives him many years of fun and service.
Bike #1 - Done!