In the fall of 2008, students at Georgia Tech discovered that the Housing Department had collected a large number of abandoned bicycles from the campus. A student group, Students Organizing for Sustainability (SOS), wanted to fix up the bikes for use in a bike sharing project on campus. SOS was able to convince the Housing Department to give them the bicycles, but a year later found the administration was unable to sponsor the bike share program. With a large number of bicycles in outdoor storage, the SOS turned to ABC to put the bicycles to good use, and Starter Bikes was born.
This program serves ABC's mission of expanding the bicycle community by making bicycles more accessible to low-income populations and students. There is an unmet need for low-cost, trustworthy used bicycles. Although new bicycles with lower quality components may be purchased for less than $200 at chains such and used bicycles may be obtained through craigslist, we hope to provide greater awareness of safety, laws and bicycle advocacy with each Starter Bike that rolls out.
Starter Bikes will not duplicate services provided by local bike shops. Our volunteers will only refurbish donated and abandoned bikes for distribution. Clients may borrow tools to work on their own bikes but we will not provide repair service. While the Sopo Bicycle Cooperative in East Atlanta used to sell used bikes, they no longer provide whole bikes, and now focus on offering space and tools for community bike repair.
As valued partners in our work, we would like to increase our local bike shops' visibility among these new cyclists - all bike shop owners are invited to send brochures, business cards, or coupons for display (please mail or drop off to ABC at 233 Mitchell Street SW Atlanta, Georgia 30303).