If you like helping youth and are handy with a wrench, then come check out the Walk N Roll Bike Shop Open Houses, scheduled for August 30, from 4 – 7 p.m. and September 9, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Intercity Transit’s Bike Shop, located at 209 Thurston Ave NE. Intercity Transit is seeking volunteers to ride bikes with local youth, or to fix up bikes.
“No prior bike-repair experience is needed. We’ll teach you that,” says David Coppley with the Intercity Transit Walk N Roll Program. “All you need is a willingness to donate your time for a good cause and an interest in learning how to repair bikes.”
The Walk N Roll Bike Shop operates with the support of volunteer bike mechanics who work year-round to repair and reclaim damaged and donated bikes that can be used annually in the Walk N Roll Earn-A-Bike class. Earn-A-Bike is a two-week, intensive safety-education class offered to middle school students. Students learn how to ride a bike safely, do minor bike repairs and then take their donated bike home at the end of the session. Experienced cyclists are welcome to volunteer and assist to keep classes safe and engaging.
Nearly 80 donated bikes that otherwise may end up in landfills are repaired at the shop annually. This semester’s Earn-A-Bike class will be held at Nisqually Middle School in the North Thurston School District.
Bike donations come from the community in various states of disrepair. Volunteer mechanics spend an average of six-to-eight hours completely overhauling each bike. Mechanics work either Wednesdays between 1- 5 p.m. or Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.in the bike shop at four bike-repair stations with the supervision of a staff bike mechanic.
The Intercity Transit Walk N Roll Program is funded through a grant from the Thurston Regional Planning Council. Partnering school districts include the Olympia School District, North Thurston School District and Tumwater School District which all host a variety of Walk N Roll activities annually to support and encourage youth in choosing healthy and sustainable transportation choices for life.