Coming to grips with bike rebuilds

17:00, Apr 10 2014
Megan Ellis reassembling her bike
BIT BY BIT: Megan Ellis, 13, right, works on reassembling her bike after a paint job with help from Richard Sewell of RAD and Jade Manyweather of Youthtown.

Young people from the eastern suburbs are quickly realising all it takes is a little elbow grease, the right tools and a bit of patience to transform an old dunger into a RAD Bike.

Youthtown, a non-profit organisation, has teamed up with Gap Filler's RAD Bikes team to teach children about bikes.

In a series of eight after-school workshops finishing next week, Youthtown members have repaired or fully rebuilt themselves a bike.

The workshops are funded by the Hagley Ferrymead Community Board, Linwood Woolston Rotary Club and Bike Wise.

Seven youngsters from schools including Linwood College and Avonside Girls' High School have spent hours on the project.

Each either picked a frame from the bikes donated to RAD or brought their own in for tune-ups and repairs.

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The RAD team has supervised the process, providing tools, knowledge and spare parts.

The workshops cost $20 to $40 depending on the project, with each young person taking home the bike they worked on at the end.

Youthtown youth co-ordinator Jade Manyweather said most had never used tools.

"We look for exciting workshops and we realised a lot of kids in the east don't have bikes. They've really enjoyed it."

The children do the work themselves, with some stripping trendy old bikes back for cleaning, repainting and repairs.

Bhavna Lata said she planned to use the bike for recreational cycling. However, many of those participating planned to cycle to school on their new rides.

Bike Wise had provided safety gear and visibility equipment to ensure cycling was safe.

Youthtown runs heavily discounted workshops almost every week day, including ski trips, driving lessons and boxing sessions.

The Press