Because a Bike is More than JUST a Bike

For Karim Kamara, Village Bicycle Project (VBP) provided much more than just a bike to get to work; for Karim, they provided work to get to bikes! Karim is a member of the Village Bicycle Project Sierra Leone team who brings in and manages the distribution of bikes coming from organizations like Bikes for the World. He also travels around the count...

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Grease Corps

From Hagerstown, Md to Accra, Ghana

May is the beginning of Bike Month, but at Bikes for the World we typically celebrate a month early, during Earth Month. This year was no exception. It was a record breaking month in April several times over. We hosted a dozen community led collections that netted over 2,000 bicycles and a record 54 sewing machines. In. One. Month. There were almos...

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Bike + Mechanic = Prosperous

For Village Bicycle Project (VBP) delivering bicycles in Ghana and Sierra Leone is only a job half done. The critical component to the sustainability of this program is extending the life of the bicycles through highly trained mechanics accessible to the new bike owners. When VBP considers a new village to add to their growing list of beneficiaries...

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Featured Volunteer: Shane Sellers

What a guy! Shane Sellers has been a fixture, no make that an anchor, at the annual Rotary Club of Carroll Creek (RCCC) bike collection in Frederick for over a decade. Shane goes back through the history of this collection longer than most Rotarians have been involved with the project.  Shane is an art professor at Frederick Community College ...

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Update on Jake

Jake Palijado (Cebu shirt and hat)

Jake Palijado was one of Bikes for the Philippines' (BfP) first bike beneficiaries when the program started in 2011.  When BfP was hand selecting the first students to receive bikes through the program, however, Jake wasn't even in the mix. He lived more than three miles from school and his family's monthly income was just over $50. He mo...

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Rebuilding a Country with Bicycles

The Village Bicycle Project (VBP) is not only one of Bikes for the World's (BfW) longest standing partners, but also the second leading partner receiving bikes from our program. BfW started shipping bikes to this group in 2005 to their Ghanaian operation and added Sierra Leone in 2012. In the last two years BfW has more than doubled the number of b...

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Community Service Leaders

April is a busy time for Bikes for the World as the temperatures start to warm (we hope) and service projects start to lean toward recycling and environmental issues in celebration of Earth Month. Bike donations spike starting now and lasting through summer. This means we get very busy in our warehouse loading containers and prepping bikes for our ...

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More Beneficiaries Graduate

This week Bikes for the Philippines celebrated the first bike beneficiaries to graduate from partnering school, Concepcion Integrated School. This was the first school adopted into the bike program that spanned grades K-12. The Regional School for the Arts also graduated eight bike beneficiaries this year. Congratulations to all the graduating seni...

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Featured Volunteer: Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston is as much a fixture of the annual Otterbein United Methodist Church as Collection Manager Cindy Brown. Really, it's more accurate to call them co-managers. Cindy handles all the emails and communications with BfW, and Mike is out there collecting bikes all year long. It's this dynamic duo that really gets the wheel turning on this ef...

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Spotlight on Alajuela Costa Rica

Continuing with our series on Costa Rica, we visit the province of Alajuela. Alajuela is situated in the north central portion of Costa Rica. Although this province lacks the beautiful coastline that typically draws tourists to the country, it still boasts a visually stunning landscape Within the boundaries of Alajuela one can find stunning waterfa...

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Spotlight on Guanacaste Costa Rica

Guanacaste is a well known and loved area of Costa Rica along the northwest coast of the country. Tourists flock to the beaches along the Pacific coastline to enjoy activities such as surfing, scuba diving, fishing, or just relaxing in the sand. Guanacaste is one of seven provinces in Costa Rica. It is the province that produces most of food in Cos...

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Spotlight on Talamanca Costa Rica

This is Talamanca, an Indian reservation located in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica. During the last few years, Bikes for the World and FINCA Costa Rica have sent four containers of bikes to Talamanca through MiBici. Some communities in this remote area can only be accessed by the Telire River. Bikes must be offloaded and reloaded onto small 'pan...

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Building Community and Service

This all started back in 2011 with two girls from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Those two girls, along with teacher Ken Woodward, would come out to King Farm a couple times a week to help us load containers to be shipped overseas. This was part of their school wide Social Action program and over the years the popularity of working with Bi...

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Kadiatu: Local Trailblazer

Kadiatu is a teacher at the Maria Inez Vocational School in Lunsar, Sierra Leone. She started working with Village Bicycle Project (VBP) several years ago and is one of the few female mechanics in the country. Kadiatu is part of VBP's Learn to Ride program that started in Sierra Leone in 2009. Kadiatu trained to be a mechanic and she now keeps the ...

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Featured Volunteer: Alex Obriecht

Alex Obriecht is the owner of Race Pace Bicycles which just opened its seventh store this past year. All locations serve as drop off points for Bikes for the World.Actually Keith and Alex have been working together even longer than we've been known as Bikes for the World. Part of the success of our relationship extends well beyond Alex. In each sto...

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Featured Volunteer: Joe Bolandrina

Joe Bolandrina has three container loadings under his belt, all at different locations. He's helped manage and mentor two or three bike collections for us. He's even done shop pick ups and individual pick ups. Impressive but not overly unusual you say? Did we mention he lives more than 400 miles away?? No lie. This guy is north, north, north of us ...

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Bikes for the World Announces Retirement of Founder Keith Oberg

Rockville MD –Bikes for the World, the nation's largest bicycle reuse charity, today announced the retirement of founder and Executive Director Keith Oberg. Last summer, Mr. Oberg advised the Board of Directors, that after 13 years leading the organization, it has a strong team in place, a stable home, and he is confident that it can successfully c...

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Update from the Philippines: Eunice and Cristy Graduate!

Eunice and Cristy graduate

Eunice (left) and Cristy (right) were some of our first beneficiaries in the Bikes for Philippines program started in 2011. Both girls received bikes in their junior year of high school to help them stay in school and graduate. Both Cristy and Eunice graduated high school in 2013 and both received a free scholarship to continue their education at t...

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Featured Volunteer: Ron Watts

This guy. What would we do without Ron Watts? Just look at him picking up and moving not one, not two, but three a time! It would be understating Ron's worth to focus on him moving bikes, but quite a bit of his time has been spent on just that, moving bikes for Bikes for the World's South Carolina spin off. Not just some bikes, but hundr...

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Creating Jobs and Increasing Wages

As soon as a Bikes for the World container hits the ground overseas its impact on the community is immediate. From unloading bikes, to recording inventory, and especially repairing and rebuilding bikes by a skilled mechanic, the arrival of the container first and foremost generates jobs. In Guinea-Bissau our container directly affected seven establ...

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Update from Guinea-Bissau

In 2015, Bikes for the World added a new partner in Guinea-Bissau in collaboration with the Global Fairness Initiative. Over 400 bikes were donated through the Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative, which just came to an end this year. Many of our newer partners come about through larger projects looking to expand transportation solutions while also ...

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Featured Volunteer: Ellen Condon

Bikes for the World is blessed with an amazing crew of volunteers who champion our mission at school, work, home...sometimes to strangers they meet on Metro. The reason we are able to affect the great number of lives we do around the world is because of our huge volunteer network. Many of our volunteers have been with us for years, even decades. So...

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My Time, My Ride, My Choice

In 2015 Bikes for the World sent our first container of bikes to the established Moroccan program known as DARNA (Our House). DARNA was started, and continues to operate as a safe home for women and children. Recognizing a mother's role in a strong, thriving family, DARNA put emphasis on creating opportunities and training for women and young girls...

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Update from Morocco

Bikes of the World is excited to announce that we have placed a second container of bikes with one of our newer partners established in 2015. DARNA (meaning Our House) operates in northern Morocco helping to give a leg up to the under served population of the region. Our bikes were introduced to the program in 2015 in an effort to empower students....

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Featured Volunteer: Nick & Sarah

We are proud to honor our own Nick and Sarah this month as our featured volunteer(s). It goes without saying that Nick gave so much to Bikes for the World over his four year tenure with us-and even from St. Louis, he's still giving. When Nick started at BfW back in 2010 we were still operating under the umbrella of WABA without an official board. N...

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We Are Phoenix

What is Phoenix Bikes? In mythology a phoenix is a bird with a cyclical life, that is to say it is reborn, given another life. Not too surprising then that Phoenix Bikes is a local bike organization that is bringing old bikes back to life.  Also not surprising that Bikes for the World would be all about supporting Phoenix Bikes. Based in Arlin...

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Team Phoenix

This year Arlington was home to the National Youth Bike Summit which welcomed bike advocates of all ages from across the country and beyond. Our own Phoenix Bikes hosted the event including setting up key speakers, some, young mechanics from their own shop. The summit brings minds and passions together to help build a bike friendly future. Involvin...

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#YBS17 Shifting Gears

What is a Youth Bike Summit? Last time we introduced you to a local group of young writers who are also learning about bikes and becoming young riders. Some of those Story Riders will be attending the Youth Bike Summit this weekend...but what exactly is a youth bike summit? Simply put it's the future of cycling. Every year Washington DC is home to ...

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Featured Volunteer: Linda Hansen

"I first met Linda Hansen maybe seven years ago when I first started working with Bikes for the World. That was four offices and six warehouses ago. I guess maybe we've both been around for a while," remembers Outreach Coordinator Yvette Hess. BUT, Linda predates BfW staff by just as many years. In fact she predates Bikes for the World itself! Lind...

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Story Riders

Meet Fairfax County's talented crew known around Willston Community Center as the Story Riders. This exciting pilot program has participants pushing pedals and pens. They are learning about bikes, the community, writing, and yes, even alliteration. In an age when adults joke about cursive being a sort of secret coded language today's kids could nev...

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What a Trek!

This blue Trek has had a long and happy life. This bike belonged to Wendy and she learned how to jump logs, scream through streams, and even how to fall not-so-gracefully on many a mountain trail. It's been to the hills of West Virginia, the beaches of Cape Cod, even across the ferry and into the city streets of Boston. After upgrading her ride wit...

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Featured Volunteer: Lucas Kramer

These kids above are some of our Filipino beneficiaries from Batangas Talahib Pandayan National High School and they are personally saying thank you to our Featured Volunteer of the month Lucas Kramer. So who the heck is Lucas and what makes him so special?  I actually know Lucas's parents from way back, but I only just met Lucas at the Altern...

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Girl With a Vision

This is Honey Jane, a determined young woman from a remote island in the Philippines. From her small village in Mindanao the opportunities available to kids her age seemed light years away. In fact, her home city of Misamis Oriental might well have felt like living on another planet when looking at a map of her sprawling country of islands. Manila,...

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Pop Quiz

TRUE OR FALSE: Joseph Tetteh is the first teacher to arrive at school every morning. TRUE. He is now that he has a bicycle. Joseph is a teacher from Gomoa Abonko, Ghana and he received his bicycle this year from our partner Village Bicycle Project. Joseph used to walk about five miles a day to and from work. He was often late and struggled to compl...

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Johan: Costa Rican Farmer

Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location.  But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, ...

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Celia: Motorcycle Repair Shop

Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location. But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, withou...

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Maria: Costa Rican Sheep Breeder

Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location.  But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, ...

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Plutarco: Costa Rican Pulperia

Continuing our series, One Bike, Two Wheels, Four Revolutions we take a look at how one bicycle often affects up to four lives (or more!). Here we introduce a new bike owner who received a bike from our last container shipped from our Charleston location. But we also bring you the story of one beneficiary who benefited from the bike project, withou...

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One Bike, Two Wheels Four Revolutions

This story of change begins with the bike, but it doesn't end there. Our donated bikes are helping to improve lives in so many ways in Costa Rica it's hard to keep track of them all.  For you, that bike you donated may represent memories of fun times on the trail, easy commutes to work, or a milestone in your child's life when she took her fir...

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Creating Autonomy

Creating jobs can be just as important as providing affordable transportation to jobs. At Bikes for the World we are focused on not just delivering used bikes to developing countries, but helping build stronger communities through access to healthcare, education, and jobs. Sometimes those jobs are created through the donations we deliver. Our bikes...

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BEN Namibia Update

BENN has helped establish more than 30 bike shops in Namibia. These shops are independently operated by local people, who are connected with grassroots partner organizations and have been trained in bicycle mechanics and business skills. The shops sell second hand bicycles sourced from groups like Bikes for the World. The sustainable bike businesse...

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Rebuilding a Hub

Adham, Maher, and Mouneer with Keith

Imagine losing your home, your business, everything you own. Imagine no one coming to your aid. Imagine relocating to an unknown place, where you don't speak the language, have no family or friends- just you, your family and a few possessions you grabbed that now fit in the trunk of a car. This isn't a life most people would hope for or dream about...

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Safety, Training, and Advocacy

Cycling safety is a big concern for anyone who has ever been on a bike. It goes without saying that includes most of our supporters at Bikes for the World. Many photos we share from our partners overseas show bike beneficiaries with huge smiles on their faces, but few helmets on their heads. Bikes for the World does accept helmet donations and one ...

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Bikes Uplift a Community in Barbados

Supporting diverse programs is one of the ways Bikes for the World is able to affect so many lives around the world in a multitude of ways. Our bike project provides affordable transportation, creates jobs, encourages education, and supports adult and youth programs beyond just bikes. When selecting partners we look at many organizations in many co...

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Teaching to Thrive

CESTA Focus on Environment​CESTA's goal is to promote the empowerment of community organizations and municipalities in El Salvador to improve their quality of life in harmony with the environment. Their primary areas of work focus on transportation, health, and the environment. Through the EcoBici program, CESTA is bringing bikes to the streets of ...

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Sierra Leone Update

"Twenty five girls at two schools in Lunsar have learned to ride recently in our program there," reported Karim Kamara, Learn 2 Ride (L2R) instructor, back in July 2015. This program is run through BfW partner Village Bicycle Project which operates in Ghana and Sierra Leone. This marked an important step in the program as they got back on their fee...

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Mirriam Odura

"My name is Mirriam Oduro. I am a mechanic." Mirriam was paralyzed as a young girl living in Koforidua. She is now part of a co-op bike shop called Ability Bikes in Ghana. She is proving what a woman can accomplish and redefining the term 'dis'abled. Bikes for the World is sending our fourth container to this program in October 2015. Mirriam is 33 ...

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New Partners 2015

Rural farmers and health workers in Africa are getting a lift from Bikes for the World as we add three new partners this month. Two containers for Guinea-Bissau and Madagascar will be loaded at our Arlington warehouse and two more for Madagascar and Cameroon, which BfW helped place, will be loaded with sister organizations, Working Bikes and Bicycl...

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100,000th Bike Donated

Our 100,000th donated bike is helping Gerardo Jesús get to school in Costa rica. Gerardo lives at home with his mother, two brothers and one sister in Tempate, a rural community located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. He graduated with excellent grades from the elementary school in Tempate. Because of this, his teacher helped him obtain a scholarship at...

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Photo Gallery

Barbados- Pinelands Creative Workshop The Pinelands Creative Workshop is a community development program in a low income area of Barbados that employs culture, dance, drama, and other programs to improve their communities and assist disadvantaged people.Pinelands mechanics repair bikes in their workshop and sell them at a low cost in their communit...

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