The Milwaukee Bicycle Collective is currently overhauling its youth program, and to celebrate it is giving away 15 brand new bikes thanks to help from Potawatomi Bingo Casino's Miracle on Canal Street and OnMilwaukee.com.
The 15 winners will also receive a light set, a lock and a helmet. Fifteen additional winners will receive a set of lights, a lock and a helmet.
Normally at the Bike Collective, all of the bicycles in stock are donated. Instead of throwing away a bike when kids break or grow out of it, their families will drop it off to be fixed for others to use.
But kids are hard on their bikes, so often while they remain structurally sound, they tend to bear gratuitous evidence of their former lives. The youth volunteers usually don't mind the scratches and dings too much, and they are happy to just have a bike. But there is something nice about starting out fresh.
Entering the contest is simple and requires three parts. First, write a story or essay that has something to do with bicycles. It can be any length, but the entrant should still work to impress the judges. The essay can be about anything as long as it expresses your feelings on bikes.
Second, draw a picture that has something to do with bikes. The picture can be about anything as long as there is a bicycle in there somewhere.
Finally, an entry form must be submitted with the essay and drawing. The entry form can be downloaded here. If you cannot print the form a hand-written form will be accepted. Full details and official rules can be found at bikecollective.org/contest.
Entries must be submitted or postmarked by Monday, Nov. 26, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Winners will be announced Dec. 3.
Programs are always changing at the Bike Collective as it searches for the best way to create incentives for youth and adult volunteers. Historically, the youth program has always been treated the same as the adult program, with a volunteer work trade: volunteer for an hour and get an hour's worth of incentives. But kids have difficulty comprehending time, leading to constant "Are we there yet?"-type questions.
The exciting new program is more in a Build-Your-Own-Bike style and will hopefully be easier to understand. If a youth wants a bike, they must complete a punch card by learning about all the aspects of a bike. For instance, once they've gotten a brake session done, they've earned their brakes and can knock that off of their punch card. When they've learned about wheels, they've earned another punch. Once their punch card is filled up, they've built their bike and can ride it out of the shop.
Adults are also encouraged to volunteer at the Bike Collective to help work with the kids, fix bikes and other things around the shop, help organize parts and tools and learn more about sustainability and exercise. Adults can earn a bike through a work trade, or they can take part in other incentives, such as new parts discounts, a modest stipend or discounts at places like Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park. But often the camaraderie is enough to keep volunteers coming back.
If you would like to know more about the Brand New Youth Bike contest, how to volunteer or donate bicycles that you have grown out of, visit bikecollective.org.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jason McDowell
Published Aug. 7, 2014
This week's weather has been a fine example of what makes summers in Milwaukee so beautiful. Looking ahead to the five day forecast it appears this fine example will continue. If you're looking for an excuse to get outside and make the most of it by engaging in a friendly competition, doing some good for your community, and maybe even learning something, too, you might consider signing up for the Amazing Milwaukee Race on Bikes (AMRoB) taking place this Sunday, Aug. 10 at noon.
Published Aug. 6, 2014
Midwest BikeShare announced their second kiosk opening today and the city is abuzz about it (or maybe they're bubbling about it?), so I had to check it out.
Published Aug. 1, 2014
If you're into unique forms of self-expression, Michael Mejia of uncoverbodyart is an artist to check out. Mejia's artistic style tends to be animalistic, with tigers, razor-toothed fish and exaggerated lizards. Beyond animals, Mejia's pattern work is also beautiful and surprising.
Published July 21, 2014
The strongest protection you have against bike theft is the perceived difficulty of what it would take to actually acquire your bike. Every lock can be cut, but in a row of bikes, you want to make sure yours looks the most annoying to acquire.
Published May 13, 2014
Wednesday, Wednesday, WEDNESDAY marks the middle of Bike to Work Week, and what better way to roll over the hump with a little competition, a friendly wager, and some additional cash for a local non-profit? The competition? A race between David Hobbs--a driver in the Indianapolis 500 and owner of David Hobbs Honda - and Ward Fowler, founding partner of the bicycle-friendly Colectivo Coffee.
Published May 2, 2014
Until now the "Fake A$$ Rappers" series of illustrations has only been shown for limited runs throughout Milwaukee. However, since the project has grown in scope, a new medium was necessary. "The book seemed like the best venue for them, especially since I'm adding so much more content 'about' the rappers," says artist Kristopher "Kpolly" Pollard. "Their albums, songs and sample lyrics. It'll be a lot of fun."
Published April 21, 2014
As I clicked my gears into lower and lower speeds, I found myself desperate for just one more cog in back. Just a few more teeth that wouldn't ever come. So I resigned myself to what I had, reached into my back pocket, pulled out a peanut butter energy bar and concentrated on spinning and eating. My mind alternated between stopping and walking and continuing to push through...
Published April 21, 2014
Struggling with poverty is a difficult challenge, especially when children are relying on you to provide them with a stable, healthy life. But helping families in need can be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.
Published Jan. 23, 2014
Former Milwaukeeans Brian Dillman and Eric Kremin were featured in GQ this month for their tenacity in the sport of bike polo. In 2010, with the help of their original teammate Joe Burge, the team took the World Championships. In 2012 they took the North American Championship, and in 2013, after a move to San Francisco and the acquisition of new teammate Joey Halverson, they took both.
Published Jan. 8, 2014
There is a belief that making small, incremental changes is the best way to go about changing your life. This is why big goals like exercising and eating right fail so often. While always a good idea they're just too disruptive to handle with ease. But what about learning a new language? That may also sound like "too disruptive" of an idea. Learning a language is complex, time-consuming, and getting the right software is expensive, but in the past few years a solid group of apps have risen to the challenge of making language learning easy, fun and for the most part, free.