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 Nov. 25, 2013
The Santa Rampage is an annual event in Milwaukee that has reached cult-status, featuring hundreds of people in Santa suits - as well as a wide swath of various holiday-themed costumes - riding their bicycles through the city. The occasion is so beloved that even the dodgy weather of the season typically does not detract from the merriment or the number of riders who participate in these festivities.
Published Oct. 23, 2013
"Frankenstein" features three performers who are charged with a task: "make monster." Bound in elaborate Edwardian costumes, the trio embarks on a journey to construct Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory while they struggle and battle through acrobatic feats." What better way to enjoy the Halloween spirit?
Published Sept. 4, 2013
A former phone sex operator in Milwaukee recalls her time in the business in this eye-opening interview.
Published Aug. 11, 2013
New Belgium is back with the Clips Beer and Film Tour, a "beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show." Since its inception Clips has raised more than $200,000 for nonprofit organizations. This year it is supporting the Wisconsin Bike Fed with 100 percent of the profits from beer sales.
Published Aug. 11, 2013
Frank Ortlieb at Big Dogg Bakery has been baking homemade, natural, healthy dog treats on-site in Bay View for about nine months. "Dogs seem to have more dietary restrictions than people, as well as the normal people-type allergies," he told OnMilwaukee.com.
Published July 18, 2013
There is always an internal debate about how early one needs to arrive at a show, particularly when the opening act is a mystery. Choose incorrectly and you're stuck impulsively checking Twitter all night, sucking down cocktails too quickly, and waiting impatiently for the opening act to utter those magic words, "This is our last song." Luckily the opening band was well worth the gamble. It only took a few chords before the conversations quieted and many heads turned. This, everyone's eyes seemed to agree, was going to be a good night.
Published May 8, 2013
Don't feel like you need to ditch your car. The overall goal is participation. Don't feel bad if you can't ride all seven days, but don't give up after only one. Take small steps towards enjoying riding a bike. If you find a problem, ask around for a solution; odds are someone has already figured it out. Bike to Work Week may not convert you to a spandex-loving gear head, but it might provide you with a new, fun weekly goal.
Published May 3, 2013
The frame starts out as one would expect, with 4130 chromoly tubing in "a traditional double triangle design with a horizontal top tube, aero profile fork and horizontal dropouts to easily accommodate a singlespeed, fixed, or internal gear hub." But here is where it gets interesting. "The Quiver also ships with our proprietary derailleur hanger and removable cable stops so it can be built up as a geared road bike with front and rear derailleurs."
Published March 22, 2013
Known for their tin can microphone, shiny tuba, eclectic instrumentation--which ranges from a typewriter to a customized whirring vibraphone--and, most importantly, lead singer Daniel Bullock's thoughtful, incisive lyrics. The Scarring Party's songs have roots in the early days of radio jazz, but the tone is more foreboding, as if one was being stalked by guard dogs in a French walled city while on the way to a burlesque show in Hell. Equal parts exciting, unnerving, and devious.
Published Jan. 24, 2013
The Delphines have a warm, fuzzy carefree sound. It's sonically blissful while lyrically dark. It drips with that sort of conflicted teenage nostalgia, the feeling of having the whole world waiting for you, while still being internally hesitant and confused. It's all pumped into a single microphone and done in a single take. But despite that youthful glow, the group is knit together, the foundation is strong, and the music crackles with a tight energy.