The Bike Shop, a nonprofit, child-centered project helping kids from low-income homes learn to ride and maintain bicycles, is holding it 2012 Spring Bike Swap on May 12 at the Bellingham Sportsplex.
The event, which starts at 10 a.m., is an opportunity for the biking public to buy and sell bikes and gear while helping The Bike Shop provide empowerment for at-risk youngsters through bike riding.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to gain advice from expert mechanics on hand.
Entering its third year in Bellingham, The Bike Shop is run by Matt Velguth, a former teacher.
Approximately 300 kids participate in the program, which includes weekend rides for differing abilities with Wednesdays through Fridays devoted to a hands-on bike repair learning process.
Velguth said the activity makes possible rewards, some as tangible as a new bike and others less tangible like the confidence of having made it to a destination and back under one’s own power.
Last year’s bike swaps, along with the shop’s Tour de Whatcom charity ride, generated the bulk of The Bike Shop’s annual budget.
In addition to the May 12 swap, another is planned for September 1.
The Tour de Whatcom ride scheduled for July 28.
The nonprofit has received recent support from Bellingham Bay Rotary, whose $l,600 will go toward physical improvements at the shop’s Sterling Drive location; Whatcom Rotary North, $1,500 for two new bikes and helmets costing $500; Fairhaven Bike & Ski, $292 for operating costs; and The Dudley Foundation, $1,000 for physical improvements.