On a sweltering Sunday afternoon, August 7, five YAYA volunteers and two amazing bike master friends- Stephen and Tyler from the Rusted Chain Bike Collective– gathered to fix up some bicycles that have been donated to YAYA. Our goal is to bring 10 bikes to AMA during our upcoming delivery in Seville.
This is part of our Farm Worker Bicycle Drive program, which provides a sustainable transportation alternative to farm workers who live in isolated areas. In many cases farm workers don’t have access to a car, whether due to lack of driver’s license or low wages. On our recent immersion trip to Seville, for instance, we heard stories of women having to walk a substantial distance (I’m not sure of the exact distance, but it takes 15-20 minutes by car) to a nearby town in order to go to the health clinic. Obviously, this is an especially major issue in a place like Florida, where things are so spread out.
Stephen showed up with a car full of tools, and quickly set up an outdoor workshop and classroom. He then schooled us in bike mechanics 101, going over the basic parts to make sure we were on the same page before splitting into groups to work on repairs.
We were all impressed by his knowledge and ability to share it with us! Everybody worked diligently despite the heat, and luckily Nicole had the foresight to bring along some electrolytes for hydration.
This was my first time repairing bikes, and it was definitely a lot of work. A lot of the bikes that seemed good to go actually needed adjustments to make them ridable, so we are grateful to Stephen and Tyler for being there and knowing what to look for to make sure everything’s in safe and working order.
By the end of the day, we had 4 bikes completely ready. We still have work to do, but this moved us much closer to our goal and we’re looking forward to reuniting with AMA soon!
(Photos courtesy of James Quill)