University City: Local Organization Teaches Kids How to Repair Bicycles

A student fixed his brakes at the after-school program.]

A student fixed his brakes at the after-school program.

An organization exists in University City that teaches neighborhood children about bicycling.

Neighborhood Bike Works, located in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in the middle of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, offers after-school classes, summer camps and special events that teach children the various skills of bicycle repair and maintenance.

Students in the Earn-A-Bike Program are even able to earn themselves a bicycle of their very own if they successfully complete the program.

Students ranging from high school to elementary school listened intently during an after-school class.

“It’s a nontraditional form of education. So kids that might not be succeeding in school, because it’s school, can come to a place and learn that there is something they want to learn about,” David Cicero Bevaqua, the interim executive director, explained.

According to its annual report, Neighborhood Bike Works served 646 youths last year and 82 percent of its students in the Earn-A-Bike Program graduated and received bicycles.

Students worked together to oil and adjust a brake line.

The organization exists at a time when bicycling is becoming a more popular form of recreation and transportation for residents in Philadelphia, including those in University City. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the city has more bicycle commuters per capita than any other city in the Unites States.

At its heart, Neighborhood Bike Works is about benefiting the neighborhood’s youth and aims to educate children about something that most kids love: bicycles.

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