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Bike Rescue

Every year 1000s of bicycles are abandoned on NYC streets. Left for dead, they're vandalized or stripped for parts, and no one really owns this problem. City agencies are not equipped to deal with it, so the decaying bike problem persists, wasting valuable bike parking space and uglifying our sidewalks. Bike Rescue NYC was created to meet this challenge head-on.

Bike Rescue will reclaim, recyle, and restore these bicycles with a team of well-trained young adults. These “Bike Rescue Field Technicians” will ride custom pedi-cab recovery cycles, navigate with tailor-made GPS, and treat bike remains with dignity. They'll be taken to Bike Rescue HQ and given a second chance.

The method in 7 short steps:

  1. Spot an abandoned bike

  2. Open Bike Rescue app and log location and bike condition

  3. Bike Rescue arrives on the scene (w/ branded tools, uniform, and GPS device)

  4. The bike is assessed and tagged.

  5. X days later, Bike Rescue returns on a pedi-cab, cuts the lock, and carts the bike away

  6. The bike is repaired using reclaimed parts or properly recycled

  7. Restored bikes return to the streets!

The benefits in 4 short blurbs:

  • Clean and safe NYC sidewalks

  • A thriving, multi-modal transportation culture

  • Reduces the negative feedback loop of "visible disorder"

  • Opportunities for youth mentorship and training

All bikes will be photographed in their original location, GPS-located and posted on the Bike Rescue website to allow owners to reclaim as-is or repaired bikes for a fee. Unclaimed, repaired and/or reconstituted bicycles will be sold and/or auctioned to support the Bike Rescue program. The Bike Rescue project will be funded through a combination of service fees, bicycle sales, corporate sponsorship and NYC support.

The Bike Rescue project was inspired in part by the resourcefulness of Cuban bicycle culture, where a shortage of new bike parts fostered a community of highly-skilled mechanics and riders. Each bicycle is maintained with incredible ingenuity using only parts at hand. To see more of this amazing salvage system visit the Global Bike Project photo exhibit.

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