North High students create program to help teens learn to repair bicycles
Recent North High graduate Evan Esparza and rising senior Max Barber have created a program where teens can learn how to repair bicycles and, once repaired, keep the bike for free.
The Teen Recycle Program, hosted at Bike Walk Wichita’s ReCycle Bike Shop at 325 N. St. Francis, is held twice a month on Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m.
Esparza was able to work with North High counselor, Miguel Sabas, who helped set up the class for ten students from North High.
Teens can select a bicycle from the Bike Walk Wichita Recycle shop. They’re taught to repair different components on the bike, using parts supplied by the shop.
“They choose a bike that needs to be refurbished and we help them go through the entire bike,” Esparza said. “We teach them all the skills they might need in case they ever need to change a flat tire while they’re out on the road.”
Upon completing the class, the students get to keep the bicycle, along with safety lights and a bike lock.
Three years ago, Esparza began volunteering at Bike Walk Wichita, where he learned how to repair bikes and wanted to pass along those skills to other teens.
He and Barber work as paid staff as bike mechanics in the Recycle Shop.
The Bike Walk Wichita Recycle Bike Repair Shop accepts donated bikes which they repair or strip for parts so they can be sold or given to people in need.
They also offer programs such as adopt-a-bike which offers free children’s bikes, a build-a-bike program where teens needing a bike can build a bike in two sessions which they then get to keep and an Earn-a-Bike program where after completing 15 hours of volunteer work repairing donated bicycles, participants can select a bike to refurbish.
For more information about the Teen Recycle program, contact Bike Walk Wichita at firstname.lastname@example.org.