Last week we saw the Charlie’s Freewheels program in action. In conjunction with the Regent Park Community Health Centre, Charlie’s Freewheels runs a Queen Street storefront bike program for youth in Regent Park. There are programs six days a week for a wide spectrum of ages.
The winter term Build a Bike program was nearing completion, and last Wednesday, the guys were working on shifters and derailleurs. Bike frames are donated to the program, any parts that can be safely reused, are, and new tires, cables and brakeshoes are supplied. The young people keep the bike at the end of the program and are also given a free helmet and set of bike lights.
A lot of volunteer mechanics help the students through the whole process every week. The atmosphere in the storefront is so positive that the “alumni” keep dropping in, and many are learning skills in advocacy and doing presentations for bike events.
If you want to find out more, their website is charliesfreewheels.ca