Eastie Bike to Market Day highlights food and fitness

Boston Cyclists Union volunteer Luis Sanchez works on a low rider bike at East Boston Bike to Market Day, an event organized by the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

Heading out to Eastie once a month to fix bikes has been a great way to connect with folks in the neighborhood, and it has also been an eye opener. Eastie bike advocates are fired up!

Last Thursday for instance, thanks to the excellent crew at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, our regularly scheduled bike repair stand was promoted along with other attractions as “Bike to Market Day.”

An organized ride using bikes provided by the city, free helmets for children, and $5 in coupons for anyone showing up on a bike drew in the crowds. We fixed 25 bikes in just four hours, including at least 2 entire families’ bikes and some pretty complex repairs.

Next year, building on the base funding provided by the City of Boston, our goal is to expand these repair stands to all the farmer’s markets in Boston that operate in neighborhoods without bike shops. The Union would also operate a bike valet service in all the markets that do happen to be near bike shops. Key locations we’d like to hit for repairs are Bowdoin-Geneva, Grove Hall and Charlestown.

Bike valet at farmer’s markets will likely encourage more cycling too, not to mention its power to encourage cyclists to eat nutritious, locally grown food, therefore the Union is looking at providing that service at Farmer’s Markets in the South End, in Copley Plaza, and in City Hall Plaza.

To accomplish all this we’re seeking sponsors for every market in the city. When people in your community take advantage of a free bike tune up to get a bike out of the basement, or to keep their bike safe, they will also be able to see who sponsored our repair stand that day.

For folks who believe in increasing the cycling rate, simply getting bikes back on the road that otherwise wouldn’t have is a hardcore way to do it. In just one market day, depending on hours and demand, our mechanics and volunteers can fix anywhere from 11 to 55 bikes.

See how you can become a sponsor.

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