the other day I took my boys up to the Spring Fair at Bancroft Elementary School...
the day was a filled with some great energy
the boys ran around doing various things
focusing most on the climbing wall and the dunking booth
showing little interest in the moon bounces and the train looping on the diminutive oval track
they were having fun... it was time well spent
while I was there I ran into a kid from the neighborhood
a kid who recently graced the Gwadzilla Page
a kid who I had spoken to about trying to get him a mountain bike... a legit bike... a bike that can withstand the type of use and abuse he is likely to put it through
when I saw him I noticed he was on a different bike
third bike in a month
this bike was poorly painted...
I could see through the white paint the JAMIS name
it was a shabby paint job
something that would draw more attention to this bike than if it was just left as is
being me I gave him a little explanation about the BAD KARMA BIKE
and that I had spoken to him about trying to get a bike
to have his father speak to me
I get it
HE WANTS A BIKE!
HE NEEDS A BIKE!
and not everyone has the resources to walk into the bike shop and swipe their credit card and walk out with a bicycle
but this does not make it okay to steal a bike
or to purchase an obviously stolen bike
there needs to be a program in Washington DC that creates the opportunity for kids to earn a bike
I tried running an "earn a bike" program through the Latin American Youth Center 20 some years ago
then DC had Chain Reaction had its program
what is there?
We need this program... how can we get this program started?
I would love to see a BIKE LIBRARY that has seasonal rentals... with rational deposits
then also a Bike Library that works with higher end bikes for sport
maybe along with a program that takes kids to the events with the bikes
not leaving the high end bike with them to be used and abused
but a more guided relationship