How to Earn a Free Bike

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How to Earn a Free Bike

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:

If you….

  1. …live in Pittsburgh,
  2. …want a bike,
  3. …you don’t want to spend money on it,
  4. …but you’re willing to donate some of your time,

then you should check out the Free Ride program.

Here’s how to use it to get a free bike:


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

7 thoughts on “How to Earn a Free Bike

  1. Modest Money

    What a great program! I’m sure it encourages a lot more bike riders, especially those that might not be able to afford a bike. Plus, if you’re going to own a bike, it will be extremely helpful to know how to properly tune and repair your own bike. They have an extremely similar program for computers here. You donate some time fixing computers and you get a free computer yourself.

  2. Michelle

    I just wrote about buying my 8-year-old a new bike and doing so reminded me of how much I used to love riding my bike! I have 3 kids and live out in the burbs, so I don’t have a lot of chances to make bike-riding a good choice. My BIL rides everywhere and I’m super jealous.

  3. femmefrugality

    It’s a good habit, and always fun to watch little ones learning! I live in the city, but still find myself using the car because unfortunately a lot of the places I have to go aren’t remotely close to me. Not to mention this city has some pretty major hills. I do know someone who rides his daughter around in this bike attachment, though. It’s pretty sweet.


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