Bike Buddies Giveaway at Gilbert Heights 6/11/16

Flyer for this Saturday's Bike Buddies Giveaway at Gilbert Heights Elementary School

Flyer for this Saturday’s Bike Buddies Giveaway at Gilbert Heights Elementary School

This Saturday – 6/11/16 – at Gilbert Heights Elementary, Bikes for Humanity, in partnership with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and with support from Oregon Community Foundation’s Nike Community Impact Fund, will grant 30 refurbished bicycles – along with helmets, locks, and bells, to students of the BTA’s Safe Routes to School program in Portland area schools.

B4H Board Member Andrew Shaw-Kitch and a bike that'll make a new buddy this weekend.

B4H Board Member Andrew Shaw-Kitch and a bike that’ll make a new buddy this weekend.

Ways you can help:

  • Wrench on bikes all this week at the shop! No need to sign-up; simply drop in during our normal hours (posted in the sidebar to the right of this article) and help get a bike ready for it’s new rider.
  • Sign-up to help out at the event! The event runs from 10 to 4 at Gilbert Heights Elementary, 12839 SE Holgate Blvd, and we need help setting it up in the morning, fitting helmets and bikes during the event, as well as working on bikes, taking pictures, talking to folks, and, of course, tearing it all back down. Let us know how you’d like to be involved by filling out this form.
  • Donate to support this and other programming from Bikes for Humanity!


A record-breaking year at B4HPDX: Help ensure an even better 2016!


B4H volunteers at McCoy Park after the North Portland Sunday Parkways, ready to bike move back to the shop

The mission of Bikes for Humanity has been put into action this year like never before.

That mission, to substantially increase public access to affordable and safe bicycles while empowering self-sufficiency in bicycle maintenance and commuting, has been implemented this year at free tune-up clinics at bike fairs from Beaverton to Gresham, and everywhere in between, with over 1,000 free repairs provided for free to the Portland community at 20 events.

On Earth Day B4H was able to run two free tune-up clinics at two separate external events as well as our daily volunteer repair clinic at the shop.


Earth Day at Normandale Park, 4/22/2015

Through our bike grant events and financial aid programs we have given away over 100 bikes to kids and commuters in need.

Bike passport/owners manual designed and printed by one of our volunteers for the last Bike Buddies Giveaway

Bilingual (bikeligual, if you like) bike passport/owners manual designed and printed by one of our volunteers for the last Bike Buddies Giveaway

Our Chain Reaction co-op mechanics training has allowed 25 of Central City Concern clients to build their own bike, know how to maintain and repair it, and open up opportunities for employment. 6 clients have returned as volunteers to Chain Reaction, several have been able to bike to job interviews, and one gentleman is already making a living through bike deliveries on the bike he proudly built himself.


Photo by Michael Andersen for his story on

Our volunteer mechanics class has trained 70 volunteers in the full suite of bike repair and overhaul in 6 8-week sessions, with current session holding a record 20 students.

Our organization has not only been able to do more of what we do best, but also seen some changes. Most notably, Steven has retired from the organization he began over a decade ago to embark on an epic bike journey around the world. You can read about his adventures on our blog.

Steven test riding a bike in the shop.

Steven test riding a bike in the shop.

We have been able to bring Chris Nelson, who has been B4H’s volunteer instructor for years, as our full-time shop manager. Our location on Powell is no longer a volunteer/classroom space, but a fully equipped professional bike shop, where tune-ups, repairs, and even consignment sales by volunteer’s refurbished bikes are available to the public.


Chris, our shop manager, leading the bike move along Willamette Blvd.

We have also been able to hire our programming coordinator, Scott Anselmo, to run the shop the other half of the week, allowing him to focus full-time on Bikes for Humanity.

Scott, our programs coordinator, surveying the last 20 bikes granted of the year.

Scott, our programs coordinator, surveying the last 20 bikes granted of the year.

We could estimate the number of bike donations that have been turned into safe, working commuting machines instead of scrap metal and trash, along with the number of volunteer hours logged in conjunction with all of these milestones, but it would not be precise, for there’s always the squeak of brakes on the wind, which means only one thing: someone needs a break adjustment, and that’s where our precision is needed. We do know we have made over 1,000 bikes more rideable, or rideable at all, as a service for the community, and granted over 125 bikes that otherwise were not in use or working condition to people who need them.

This year has been a testament to the power of volunteers, and the need for our organization, and its mission and work, in Portland.

To make sure Bikes for Humanity can continue into 2016 with this momentum WE NEED YOUR HELP. Slow shop sales have made it clear that our organization needs public support to continue running through the winter. While Steven was volunteering full-time for the organization we were able to proliferate without fundraising.

However, that model has changed, and we need the financial support of everyone who believes in our mission and programming. And since we live in Portland, we know that support exists, but not everybody knows about us.

That’s why we need your help in spreading the word of our work and our needs, and to contribute whatever you can to our year-end fundraising efforts!


Joel of the BTA riding a tall bike at the PCC Southeast Bike Fair

Bike Buddies Giveaway is THIS SATURDAY (12/12/15)

Dave B Bike Buddy

Dave happily working on a bike.

As pictured, our volunteers and staff are hard at work getting everything in order for the event. This past Saturday, we were joined by BTA staff for a volunteer work party, where a lot of our bikes were built-up, tuned up, and tested for road worthiness. We’re almost ready, but there is still a lot of work to do!

Ways you can help:

  • Donate! – click the link to visit our donation page. A donation of $50 roughly translates to 1 new bike buddy. Cash and check donations may be made in person or via mail to our repair shop.
  • Volunteer at Arleta this Saturday. Whether you’d like to wrench on bikes, greet grantees when they arrive, or help with bike selection and helmet fitting, your help is greatly appreciated and vital to the success of the event. Click here to fill out the volunteer registration form!
  • Volunteer at the shop! As always, we run a Volunteer Repair Clinic during all of our open hours, and you are always welcome to drop-in and help for a day or an hour, whatever works for you.
  • Donate 24″ bikes. This is the size of bike most commonly needed by 4th and 5th graders and we are always on the look out for more. Lucky for us, Kids grow out of this size after a few years and you just might have one cluttering your garage or storage space. Remember: all donations to Bikes for Humanity are tax deductible.

Thanks! We can’t do it without you.

Bike Buddies Giveaways at Lent and Sitton

Portland is full of amazing programs that bring bicycle access, education, and safety to its residents, and Bikes for Humanity is just one organization in a huge community trying to make it easy, affordable, and possible for folks to get on bikes.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS), run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), is one such program. The BTA sends staff to Portland Public Schools to educate students on how to safely walk or ride to school, and start their day energized and empowered, knowing they brought themselves to class on their own steam.

Bike safety begins at grade 4, and the BTA brings in a fleet of geared bikes for the kids to practice on. For many this is the child’s first opportunity to graduate from single-speed coaster bikes to these more commuter-oriented ones, or the first time riding a bike at all. These kids learn the skills, gain the enthusiasm, and feel empowered to become life-long commuters. The only problem is, what happens to the kids whose families cannot afford to buy them the bike, lock, helmets, and lights they need to continue to develop those skills, that enthusiasm, and that empowerment? Where do those skills and that momentum go?

That’s where our partnership with the BTA comes in, and the Bike Buddies program: we fill that need by granting safe, working geared bikes refurbished by our trained volunteers and checked by our professional mechanics, along with locks, helmets, and lights donated by our many partners. The BTA’s bike safety education team works with teachers and administrators at Title I schools to identify deserving kids to receive bikes and accessories, and Bikes for Humanity volunteers prepare for months to get the bikes ready before our weekend giveaway events, which include free repairs and limited free parts, and free helmets.

Our first event took place at Lent Elementary in June and included 40 bikes granted to students from 4 Title I schools in Southeast Portland.


At these events we are also able to accept donations, and in the case of Lent’s giveaway, we received a bike we were able to tune up, safety check, and grant to a student in the same day. Kids receiving bikes were able to test ride them in the playground behind the school.


Bikes for Humanity volunteers demonstrated using a u-lock to keep the bikes in the hands of the kids, fitted and fine tuned the bikes, and fit helmets for the bike adopters and community.





Our next bike grant event was for students in St. Johns in North Portland at Sitton Elementary, right after the beginning of school. We granted 30 bikes and tuned up a half dozen of bikes from the community. It was a great opportunity to bring bikes, mechanical knowledge, and resources to an under-served community.

We hope you’ll join us for the last event of the year at Arleta School in Southeast this Saturday! Read Scott’s post on the event here, or go right to the sign up here.

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Park Rose Fix-it Fair November 21st

Each winter, Bikes for Humanity participates in the City of Portland’s Fix-it Fairs. A Fix-it Fair is a free, public event that connects Portland residents to local resources. Each fair involves classes for attendees, tabling with representatives from government and non-profit agencies, a free lunch, and free on-site services, including BIKE REPAIR provided by B4H and our friends from Bike Farm.

This winter’s first fair will be Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver St, Portland, OR 97220, from 9:30am – 3:00pm.

I’ll be there.

This was the first external event I did with B4H after coming on board as a volunteer last year. It was a blast! The Bicycle Transportation Alliance provided spare parts and B4H and Bike Farm brought the tools and elbow grease. Attendees were treated to complimentary repairs and parts where appropriate. Volunteers were treated to breakfast and lunch. It felt great to apply my skills to help others and connect with a community of like minded people.

Whether you’ve got a bicycle in need or you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, I hope to see you there!

The author, not looking at the camera at last year’s Park Rose Fix-it Fair