The Boston Cyclists Union started the Bike to Market program in 2010 to address issues of bike safety, theft prevention and a greater need for physical activity in all of Boston’s neighborhoods. At farmers’ markets and other locations around the city, Union volunteers and staff fix bikes, sell helmets, locks and bike parts at cost, and talk one on one with cyclists to help ensure their safety on the road and their bike’s safety from theft. Part of this discussion includes how homes, streets and neighborhoods can be improved for bikes through better design, and how neighborhood ideas can become reality. By attracting more people to farmers’ markets, the program also makes a crucial connection between physical activity and good nutrition.
In two years, Bike to Market has repaired over 1,600 bicycles, distributed over 250 affordable helmets and 40 subsidized U-locks. Some of our most typical repairs involve fixing brakes on bikes ridden by children and teens, but we help everyone from new immigrants, to folks dusting their bikes off for the first time in decades, to Boston Police officers on patrol. Often we operate in neighborhoods without bike shops. We started with 30 events in 9 locations around the city. This year we will hit 60 events around the city and we are introducing a new focus on vocational training in bike mechanics at some sites. More on that soon.
The Union is looking for hundreds of volunteers to fix bikes and table at more than 60 Bike to Market stands across the city between June and September. We will run volunteer training events in April, May, June, July. Want to get involved? Sign up here and sign up as either a Bike Ambassador or Mechanic.