I’m not going to lie. This program has a lot of qualifiers. But I still think it’s awesome so I’m going to let you know about it:
- …live in Pittsburgh,
- …want a bike,
- …you don’t want to spend money on it,
- …but you’re willing to donate some of your time,
then you should check out the Free Ride program.
To start you have to take two basic bike mechanics classes. They’re not free, but you can use volunteer hours to pay for them. Volunteer for one hour fixing up other bikes in the shop, earn $8. If you have an access card, you can take the classes for free.
Pick your bike
Browse the shop and talk to an employee about pricing the bike of your choice. The bikes need work done on them, which is why you needed to take those training classes. You can either pay for the bike in volunteer hours or pay in cash.
Again, 1 hour = $8. Do your volunteer hours before you finish up fixing up your own bike.
Fix Your Bike
Now you can use all your training and experience to fix up your own bike so it’s road ready. You’ll have to pass a safety inspection before you’re out for good. To find out more information about the program, visit Free Ride’s website.
Reasons to Ride a Bike
I must admit, I’m one of those people who hates seeing cyclists on the road. I hate when they ignore traffic laws. I hate when they put their lives in peril. But if you can follow the rules, I wholeheartedly support you. Here’s a few of the reasons why:
- It’s good for your health. Physically and mentally. It’s a good cardiovascular workout, and the more you work out the more endorphins you produce, making your stress levels go way down.
- It’s good for the environment. If you are able to bike the places you need to go rather than driving a motor vehicle, you aren’t releasing the poisonous fumes into the atmosphere that cause a greenhouse effect. It’s also a lot more eco-friendly for manufacturers to make bikes than cars. Thanks for making the world a better place for my children to inherit.
- It’s good for your wallet. Bikes are cheaper than cars. Especially if you use the Free Ride program. The maintenance is less costly, especially if you’ve taken a fancy bike mechanic class. Oh, and you won’t be guzzling down gasoline. It’s already $4/gal in Pennsylvania. I can only imagine what it’s like in other places where the cost of living can be higher.