About Phoenix Bikes
Anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of visiting nonprofit Phoenix Bikes would be well-advised to pay them a visit, whether to shop for a bike, find replacement parts, or to learn more about their youth programs in person. Once headquartered in a makeshift workshop right off the W&OD Trail, the Phoenix Bikes team now proudly operates out of their permanent (and beautiful) brick-and-mortar workshop in southern Arlington.
Since 2007 they have built their own unique community by building bikes in service of the greater community, empowering hundreds and even thousands of DC-Metro-area youth in the process. Last week, attorney Doug Landau stopped by their beautiful headquarters to drop off 40 bike helmets of all sizes as part of his firm’s “Lids on Kids” initiative, just one small way to contribute to such an admirable organization.
Through the Earn-a-Bike program, DC-Metro-area youth refurbish bikes in a way Dr. Frankenstein would surely approve of: “cannibalizing” parts from non-working bikes to build improved bikes out of recycled parts.
Some of these are marked for sale to the public, and participating kids also walk away with their very own bike at the end of the program. As detailed on their website, “Local youth are invited to participate in bike refurbishment and retail operations as they contribute to the daily operations of the Phoenix Bikes shop, leaving with tangible mechanic and business management skills as well as scores of other success skills for life.”
Just as important as the life skills they gain, participants know that they are contributing to a successful business, and providing a service to their community. A true example of youth empowerment in action. Whenever participants ride their bikes, they can feel pride in knowing that they earned them through their own hard work. They can be confident in their own knowledge and abilities, especially for when their own bikes need repairs or improvements.
And perhaps most of all, they know that their contributions are valued and needed, meaning they are valued and needed. And as anyone who has worked with teenagers can attest, instilling this kind of self-worth in growing young minds is not only challenging, but invaluable to their health and maturity.
Promoting bicycling safety
It’s also important to ensure they walk away from the program ready to practice safe biking habits, so in addition to a bike, every graduate receives a helmet. Phoenix Bikes has become a valued friend to Abrams Landau over the last several years, driven by a mutual interest in cycling and youth education, two of Mr. Landau’s great passions (coming as no surprise to most who know him!).
Safety advocacy is a big part of that passion, and Mr. Landau is thankful for any opportunity to spread a love of cycling and encourage safe riding. And giving to an organization that is, in turn, dedicated to giving? That’s just icing on the cake.
Interested in getting involved?
- • Participate in their virtual auction, “Phoenix Phrenzy,” from October 25 – November 1! They need auction items, so visit their page if you would like to contribute, and set your calendars so you can explore the items up for bid!
- • Consider taking part in the Arlington Turkey Trot this year on Thanksgiving morning, a charitable 5k which attracts over 4,000 participants! Phoenix Bikes has been named a Special Fund Beneficiary this year, and will receive a portion of the proceeds.
- • For more information on the many other ways to help, visit the Get Involved tab on their page.