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May 31, 2011

Lincoln Bicycle Repair Kitchen Receives Community Grant

By Joe Younglove

 Loose brakes? Flat tire? Rusty chain?

The Near South Community Bike Kitchen has you covered; and thanks to a $1,500 neighborhood mini-grant the organization was recently awarded by the Lincoln Department of Urban Development, their mission to provide free bicycle repairs to Lincoln residents just got that much easier.

Lindsay Graef and Drew Nelson work at the Near South Community Bike Kitchen on a recent Sunday. Photo: Joe Younglove

Photo by Joe Younglove

Lindsay Graef and Drew Nelson work at the Near South Community Bike Kitchen on a recent Sunday.

The kitchen, located at 1720 S.15th St., had several people milling about during a recent visit, helping each other get to the bottom of any bike issue you can imagine.

Travis Davis of Urban Development said the Neighborhood Mini-Grant Program is for low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. He said any neighborhood association can apply for a grant, as long as it’s to be used for a visible project.

“The selection committee selects proposals that seem the most viable,” Davis said. “We feel like helping the bike kitchen in any way is definitely important for the community.”

Other recent grant recipients include the South Salt Creek Community Organization’s Standing Bear Park Project, and the University Place Community Organization Farmers Market.

The kitchen hopes to raise money at the Lincoln Bike Swap, scheduled for Friday, June 4th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5300 S. Folsom St. They are also selling biking caps and bike-tire belts. The grant will reimburse the kitchen for needed purchases.

Volunteer Pepe Fierro said the Near South Community Bike Kitchen has seen consistent growth. Enthusiasm was ever-present amongst those in attendance, including Brenda Davis, who bikes 12 miles a day, and refers to her bike as “her savior.” Andrew Miller-Schell and Ren Ogden said they not only enjoy learning how to work on their bikes, but can also count their work at the kitchen as volunteer hours for school. Kyle Smith said he was thrilled there was a place he could learn to build his own bike.

Fierro said the bike kitchen’s current wishlist includes bike chains, donations and skilled bike mechanics.

To donate, visit the Near South Community Bike Kitchen on Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. or check out the Facebook page. Learn more about the Urban Development Neighborhood Mini-Grant Program at their website.

Related reading: "Near South Community Bike Kitchen Looks to Teach Bikers, Repair Their Rides and Take the Exclusivity out of Lincoln's Bike Culture"

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