Bike and Roll it Forward

Spring is finally here and spring cleaning is next so when you put away your snow shovels and dust off the bikes, check and see if there are any you aren’t using and give them to someone who can use them. Sounds good, right? But how?

Well, the City of Boston has a program called Boston Bikes. Check out their website here. And Boston Bikes runs a bike donation program that gets your old bike into the hands of someone who could really use it with their Roll It Forward Program.

Roll It Forward began as a project of Boston Bikes and the Boston Public Health Commission. Originally funded by a stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health, the program seeks to make cycling a more accessible transportation option for low-income communities. Roll It Forward collects, repairs, and distributes bikes to low-income Boston residents who might not otherwise have access to a bike. By distributing bicycles and providing bike safety education, the Roll it Forward program promotes a healthier lifestyle of increased physical activity and fewer trips by car. The bikes from the program serve as a family’s first step in adopting cycling as an ongoing activity for health and convenience.

As of January 2015, the program has distributed more than 3,800 bicycles, with a goal of distributing 1,000 total in 2015!

Check out the site for safety tips, a fun quiz and most importantly, how to get your old, unused bikes to someone who could really use them. Roll It Forward partners with local bike shops to refurbish the bikes. Learn more about the process here.

Donate to Roll it Forward

You probably have an old bike in the basement or a few bikes your kids have outgrown. Put them to good use! After you donate your bike, Roll It Forward will repair it and match it up with someone who can use it.

Here’s how:

1. First, check this page to make sure you’re giving us something we can use.

2. Then, choose where to bring the bike. Find the donation collection location nearest you.

  • Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) (offer 20% off one full-price item OR 20% off any bike service!)

Boston/Allston: 1041 Commonwealth Avenue, (617) 254‑4250
Cambridge: Harvard Square, 1 Brattle Square, (617) 864‑2061
Newton: 300 Needham Street, (617) 559‑1575

  • Belmont Wheelworks : 480 Trapelo Road, Belmont (617) 489‑3577
  • Dedham Bike: 403 Washington St, Dedham Square, (781) 326‑1531
  • Giant Cycling World-Boston/The Fenway: 11 Kilmarnock, (617) 424‑6400
  • Back Bay Bicycles — Boston/Back Bay: 366 Commonwealth Ave (corner of Mass Ave), (617) 247‑2336
  • JRA Cycles — Medford: 229 Salem St, Medford, (781) 391‑3636
  • Seaside Cycles — Manchester-by-the-Sea: 23 Elm St, Manchester, (978)526‑1200
  • Sudbury Residents: You can take your bike directly to the town recycling center and request that it be donated to our program. Sudbury Recycling and Refuse Center, 20 Boston Post Road, Sudbury MA 01776, (978) 443‑2209 x 1221

3. Optionally, request a reward claim form: While supplies last, Boston Bikes will send you a jersey/t-shirt (size dependent) OR a Perfect Fuel Chocolate Gift Pack in thanks for your donation. To be eligible, request a claim form by contacting rollitforward@gmail.com and bring the claim form with you to the drop off location so they can sign it.

4. Bring your bike in to any of the above locations and let them know it is for Roll it Forward. They’ll receive it and some shops even offer customers a thank-you coupon for bike donations.

Feel like you can do more? Great.

Volunteers needed! Help us strip bikes of viable parts for our Roll it Forward program on Wednesday, March 9 from 4-8p in Dorchester. We need folks who are mechanically inclined. Learn more and sign up here: http://bit.ly/1QPknH7

Or don’t have any old bikes but think you know people who do? Run a bike drive.

To learn more and to find some helpful tools:

Guide to Organizing a Bike Drive

Bike Drive Flyer Template (customize for your event!)

Find Boston Bikes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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