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Dec 05

Menlo-Atherton High School bike club accepts donated bikes for students

Posted on December 5, 2020 at 10:59 am by Clay Curtin

Thank you to everyone that reached out and donated a bike after our November newsletter highlighting Menlo-Atherton High School bike club's amazing work and bike donation program. In light of the holiday season, we encourage you to continue to reach out if you have old bikes to donate to Menlo-Atherton bike club or know a child in need of a bicycle. Please email the Safe Routes to School team.

“We try to focus on getting bikes to students who need them to get to school. In the current distance learning situation, we are giving bikes to children who need them due to other transportation needs, such as getting to a job, or because their parents do not have the ability to drive them places, or because they do not feel comfortable on mass transit,” says Mr. James Nelson. “I have 18 bikes ready to go out the door- I need tall people who need bikes! I am taking in more bikes all the time, especially looking for bikes for little children and smaller people,” he added.

In 2019, Mr. Nelson, a teacher at Menlo-Atherton High School and safe routes to school champion started a bike club at the school, M-A on the Move, to teach students bike maintenance.

Mr. Nelson has taught around 500 children how to do basic bike maintenance, like how to pump up a tire, how to patch tubes, true wheels, how to repack bearings, strip a frame and paint it, run cables and housings and change brake pads. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students met weekly at the bike shed in the school parking lot.

Since January 2020, they have repaired or maintained around 150 bicycles. A new bike repair station was recently installed on the high school campus.

In addition to teaching students how to repair bicycles, the bike club fixes donated bikes to give back to the community. Twenty-five bikes were donated to students last year. The school continues to get bike donations from the community. Mr. Nelson is currently working on six bicycles and has around 10 bikes in storage, waiting to be fixed. Eighteen bikes are ready to be donated.

Although Menlo-Atherton High School students are the priority for the bike donation, the bike club also gives away bikes to the school staff and student family members. “Pretty much anyone who will promise to try to use the bikes that we give them and will try to prioritize bike transit above automotive transit is welcome to get a bike,” added Mr. Nelson.