Program offers free bikes

Thrive Allen County's new program, "Earn a Bike," gives away free, used bicycles to those who complete a repair training course.



August 5, 2021 - 9:38 AM

Kaevon Lewis-Hooks and Don Burns take a break from working on a bike at the repair station outside Thrive Allen County at 9 S. Jefferson Ave. on the east side of the Iola square. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Need a bike of your own to ride?

Look no further than Thrive Allen County and their new “Earn a Bike” program.

That’s just what Kaevon Lewis-Hooks and Izaiah Westmoreland did, and on Wednesday they had secured the first of two bikes for their very own.

“One of my sisters, they had told me they were doing bikes here [at Thrive],” said Izaiah.

“She had told me I could go check it out, so I came up here to see if I could get a free bike.”

And indeed, after only a short training session with Don Burns, they were ready to roll, hitting the Lehigh Portland Trails and elsewhere.

To learn more, contact Thrive Allen County at 9 S. Jefferson or call (620) 365-8128.

Kaevon Lewis-Hooks works on a bike.Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

AS A MEMBER of the Thrive Allen County board, Burns serves as ambassador for the “Earn a Bike” program.

After someone signs up for the program, he said, he will then contact them to set up an appointment for training whereby they’ll earn their bike.

There’s only one required training session, but children under 18 will still need a parent’s signature.

As for the training itself, it’s actually pretty simple, noted Burns.

For example, “I show them how to properly lube a chain, because there’s a right way and a wrong way,” he said.

“And we typically will fix a flat tire, and I let them do most of it while I instruct them.”

The training may cover “just minor stuff,” Burns said, but it could possibly save you an expensive trip to the repair shop.

Burns said the “Earn a Bike” program repurposes old bicycles.