They called it the "Moment Of Happy" when 88bikes gave 50 bicycles to students at the Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, Utah on the Navajo Nation. And along with the bikes, the non-profit spent a day teaching the students how to ride and how to maintain them too! Afterwards they all went on a 10 mile long bike ride around the reservation to celebrate they joyous event. To top it off, the organization also left behind a mobile bike repair shop built by none other than Design Build BLUFF. Using reclaimed parts, the student and volunteer build organization erected the first 88bikeshop to support the community and to hold workshops and clinics.
88bikes was started in 2006 by friends Dan Austin, Nicolas Arauz and Jay Austin, who wanted to change the world one bike at a time. Their first project successfully raised the funds for 88 bikes to be donated through Friends of Cambodian Children in 2006. Since then, they’ve donated over 1000 bikes around the world and also educated kids through bike maintenance training, safety workshops, group bike rides, and bike-based job skills. For their latest project, 88bikes teamed up with Park City, UT-based Design Build Bluff, the student design/build organization responsible for building sustainable homes on the Navajo Nation in southern Utah.
“88bikes is a great admirer of the work of DesignBuildBLUFF, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to build the bike shop,” said Dan Austin, one of 88bikes’ founders. “This is a sustainable, mobile shop, largely constructed from reclaimed materials and was designed by DesignBuildBLUFF and will be built by the DesignBuildBLUFF and 88bikes volunteers,” he added.
Lacking facilities in general not to mention actual bikes, the organizations decided to donate a mobile bike shed along with 50 bikes to students on the reservation. A group of volunteers gathered together in Park City late in July to build the bike shed, which was adapted from a 1970’s enclosed trailer. Reclaimed car hoods along with other recycled materials were added to the exterior of the trailer to make it more aerodynamic and functional as a mobile bike shop. One of the side walls folds down to create a platform for more work space. This is 88bikes, first bike shed and will serve the community of Montezuma Creek as support trailer for guided bike trips and to host workshops and clinics.
After the mobile bike shed was completed, it along with 50 donated bikes were transported down to the high school. On September 7th, the bikes were given to the students and 88bikes coached them on how to ride and how to maintain them. The following day, they all took a 10 mile cruise to celebrate the Moment Of Happy.
“The moment the students receive the bikes and begin to utilize the shop will be the apex of a valued collaboration,” said Ginger Tolman, the Executive Director of DesignBuildBLUFF. “The joy of riding a bike, and being able to maintain it, will likely be a new experience for many of these students. We look forward to sharing their joy,” she added.
Images ©Katie Eldridge/Design Build BLUFF