5 innovative non-profits making bicycling (and bikes) more accessible

We’re right in the middle of Bike to Work Week, and, hopefully, you’ve taken the opportunity to try out a two-wheeled commute.

Bicycles aren’t only an efficient means of transportation; they’re also relatively cheap. But, for many people in both the developed and developing world, the few hundred bucks required to buy a new bike may be out of reach. Numerous non-profits have sprung up to make biking accessible for these people; here are just a few doing innovative work on this front.

Arcata, California’s Bicycle Library: Can’t afford to buy a bike? In Arcata, you can check one out. For a $20 refundable deposit, you can have use of one of their bikes for six months. (via Treehugger)

St. Louis’ BicycleWORKS: Based in St. Louis’ Shaw Neighborhood (literally just down the street from me), BicycleWORKS offers “at-risk” kids the opportunity to “Earn-a-Bike” (plus helmet, light, and lock) by completing a series of courses on bike safety and maintenance.

High Bridge, New Jersey’s Pedals for Progress: North Americans discard 5 million bikes a year. Pedals for Progress exist to collect those bikes, fix them up, and send them to people in the developing world.

Emeryville, California’s WorldBike: Ever tried to do your grocery shopping on a bike? Now, imagine a bicycle is the only option you have for transporting loads. WorldBike “designs higher-strength, longer-wheelbase bicycles with integrated cargo capacity” for people in the developing world.

Chicago’s The Recyclery: In addition to an “Earn-a-Bike” program for kids, The Recyclery offers a “Build-a-Bike” program for adults, and offers an Open Shop for repairing and maintaining your bicycle.

We’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg here… what organizations are doing creative work to promote bicycling in your community?

Image credit: arthritic_old_man at Flickr under a Creative Commons license