Like many of you the new year has everyone at Redemptive Cycles reflecting on how we can do better. We've been organizing, stream lining, and refining our operations to make everything run more smoothly, but most of all we are striving to ensure that we can continue to further bicycle accessibility here in Birmingham.
On that note we are proud to say that 2016 was by far our most charitable year to date: the Earn-A-Bike program saw a whopping 102 participants complete the program (compared to 40 in 2015). That means 102 men and women performed 12 hours of community service, and in exchange received a bicycle, a bike lock, a helmet, and a pair of lights. Thanks to the support of all of you we were able to help over one hundred individuals who were transportationally challenged acquire the means to simply get where they need to go.
As amazing as the Earn-A-Bike program is, it often overshadows an equally important part of what we do. Many members of our community are bicycle dependent, which means without a bike they are virtually stranded, or forced to buy bus passes, and if they can't afford that they must walk miles and miles every day. That's why we created the Sliding Scale Repairs program to keep them rolling. At RC we like to "fix bikes, ask questions later." With that attitude guiding us we performed an incredible 532 heavily discounted (often times free) repairs totaling $21,343 in charitable repair work.
We feel that the Earn-A-Bike and Sliding Scale Repairs programs are a vital resource to the Birmingham community, and we will do everything in our power to ensure they are sustained and continue to grow. We also believe that a community bike shop that is welcoming and beginner friendly, affordable (both when purchasing a bike or having a bicycle serviced), that is focused on education through providing access to a public work station and frequent mechanics classes, and generally advances bicycle advocacy and accessibility is an essential part of the Birmingham community, and it would appear that you agree, because 2016 (our 3rd year in existence) was by far our busiest year yet! So keep up all the support, and here's to 2017 being even better than last!