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 June 24, 2015
Timothy J. Reynolds, who goes by the online handle turnislefthome, is a digital artist who specializes in adorable lowpoly 3D renderings of cartoon cars, imaginative, pastel and otherworldly landscapes, and video game inspired nostalgia.
Published May 8, 2015
No matter how far away you go for vacation, it's hard not to keep track of the similarities and differences of the cultures that you encounter along the way. Here are a few notes Jason McDowell kept during his visit to the motherland.
Published April 2, 2015
Basketball is a game that involves quick moves, clever tactics, and constant energy, but there is nothing dynamic about this logo. The whole thing is mirrored from right to left. There is nothing interesting about that. I want this deer to be doing something. Not running or fighting or playing basketball, but something as simple as turning its head would tell me it's a three-dimensional living, breathing, exciting team.
Published March 13, 2015
Bublr, the city's first bike share system, rolled out last year and was subsequently rolled back in before winter. But while the wheels were only on the ground for a limited time, the company still deemed it a success, coasting through the finish line with an impressive 5,500 trips. What was not so successful, however, was the confusing pricing. So as Bublr gears up to return, the company announced a new, simpler pricing structure.
Published March 4, 2015
Ramen for a dinner party is an exciting and relatively inexpensive theme to craft a dinner party around. At its very basic it only requires a few veggies and a handful of noodles, but it has the ability to unfold possibilities like a flower. During a ramen party, there is something of a slow, orchestral build until suddenly the cymbals are crashing, the violin bows are fraying and the tubas are blasting fortissimo.
Published Nov. 5, 2014
The Delphines' club shows were frequent and album releases were fast and furious. Eventually a full length album called "Hush" was released, but shortly afterward the band quietly broke up. Disappointment followed. How could we allow this to happen? This band felt like it was composed of sun-bleached driftwood, waiting for a match to drop and set fire to the music scene. It was a band that made Milwaukee's music scene vibrate. So I was surprised this morning when my phone lit up with a message...
Published Sept. 6, 2014
The theme is Steampunk, which is essentially a Victorian alternate reality in which electricity was never discovered, but steam-powered clockwork-based technology continued to move forward regardless. Thus the fashion show should feature gears, glass and leather laden corsets, top hats and other Victorian-esque paraphernalia.
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.