Mission: Bike Box of the Blue Ridge’s, (“Bike Box”) mission is to empower people through human locomotion. Their goal is to get more people to ride bikes, provide quality recycled bicycles to people in the community, and to teach the skills to ride and maintain them safely, which will enhance their physical and economic wellbeing.
Community Need: Biking can increase wellness in the community in the following ways:
- For low income wage earners, a bike used as transportation and can greatly impact living expenses in a positive way, while providing dependable transportation.
- Nearly three-quarters of bikes sold are low-quality bikes from big box stores that provide no bike fitting or repair services. Bike Box will target this large customer base to provide better used bikes and quality personal service.
- Augusta Health’s 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment identified weight (obesity) as a key health challenge. The assessment also stated that 37.8% of children in the community are obese (triple the national rate) and, of the areas lower income community, 50% of adults are obese.
- The 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundations County Health Rankings show Augusta County behind the nation and state in two key health behaviors, “Physical Inactivity” and “Access to Exercise Opportunities.”
Constituents Served: All are welcome to join as Bike Box members or volunteers. Bike Box hopes to provide over 300 bikes to people in 2018. They expect to reach more youth than adults and will focus on the ages of 8 to 16.
Primary Activities: Bike Box’s programs provide quality used bikes to individuals that will empower them to ride. Mentoring youth, teaching responsible riding skills, rules of the road, and the experience of bike ownership will help establish a pattern of responsibility. Bike Box offers programs to encourage people to ride bikes. They:
- Mentor youth on the importance of repairing and maintaining their own bike for safety.
- Offer workshops on site in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club in Waynesboro. These workshops are designed to teach bike maintenance and repair to youth as part of their mentoring work with the club, schools, and youth organizations.
- Offer used bikes and parts for sale, as part of the Bike Box’s Earn-a-Bike Program. Customers will be able to purchase bikes at low, or no cost. This program is designed to help anyone get a bike to ride for transportation and fitness, and sales will supplement the organization’s financial plan.
- Offer community “fun rides” and rider safety clinics year-round throughout the area. These events will be led by League of American Bicyclist certified safety instructors.
- Set up a new program with Middle River Regional Jail to provide approximately 100 bikes to inmates as they are released and reentering the community. Transportation is critical for these individuals as they need to travel for work. Most have lost their driving privileges, and the cost of car ownership is out of reach.
Amount Requested: $10,000
Operating Budget: $43,442