Urban Bike Project is a non-profit community bicycle shop located at 1500 N. Walnut Street, just outside Wilmington’s downtown district. Our mission is to support Wilmington communities by providing access to bicycling as a healthy, affordable, and practical means of transportation and recreation. We believe that walking and biking brings people closer to their surroundings and creates happier, more sustainable communities. Benefits range from safer streets to healthier people, cleaner air to cleaner water, and equal access to reliable transportation regardless of income.

“A lot of times, there’s this divide that people draw between environmental sustainability and social sustainability,” says Laura Wilburn, executive director of the Urban Bike Project of Wilmington. “[But] when you get down to it, it’s one and the same. The reason we care about environmental sustainability is because we care about people.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the personal and social benefits of bicycling, incorporating bikes into your fitness or recreation routine, or trying out bike commuting, we can help! We offer a variety of bicycle related services to Wilmington residents:

• Open Shop: Open Shop is open to the public from 6:30pm – 9pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Visitors can shop for affordable used bikes starting from $30, use our tools and stands to repair their bikes with help from volunteer mechanics, and get information about bicycle commuting and local riding. Beginning June 25th we will also be offering Saturday hours from 2:30pm – 5pm!
• Free Bike Program: We offer free commuter bicycles, locks and lights to adults in need of reliable transportation. Interested individuals can apply online at www.urbanbikeproject.com/programs/free-bike-program or stop by our Open Shop hours (6:30pm – 9pm Tuesdays and Thursdays) to get an application. To qualify, applicants must also submit a referral letter from a social service agency.
• Youth Shop: Kids age 8-18 are invited to join us for Youth Shop Wednesday nights from 5pm – 7:30pm. Youth can choose to repair their bikes, volunteer in exchange for shop credit that can be redeemed for parts and accessories, or take mechanics classes to earn a free bike. We also run weekend youth rides for participants during good weather months.
• Earn-A-Bike Programs: We offer Earn-A-Bike programs to local schools and organizations interested in supplementing their existing curriculum with hands on, experiential learning opportunities. Students spend 10 hours learning about safe riding and refurbishing used bikes, which they keep for free at the end of the program.
• Community Outreach Events: Look for us every year at the Wilmington Grand Prix, Hagley Hike n’ Bike, Brandywine Village Riverfest, and more! And don’t forget about our annual Crisp Classic Recreational Ride that takes place every fall for a fun event and a chance to meet other local riders and discover Wilmington’s Northern Delaware Greenway Trail. For a calendar of events, visit www.urbanbikeproject.com/newsevents/calendar
• Helping to make Wilmington more bike friendly: Wilmington is working on lots of exciting bicycle initiatives, from a city-wide bike share to more on-road infrastructure. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, we can help connect you with the right people! Just stop by Open Shop sometime and ask, or send us an email at urbanbikeproject@gmail.com

Interested in supporting Urban Bike Project? We are always grateful for financial support, donations of bicycles and parts, and most importantly volunteers! As a small organization, our work relies on our volunteers. Volunteers enjoy opportunities to learn new skills, meet fellow bicycle enthusiasts, and reap the rewards of helping others access the benefits of bicycling.

For more information or to get involved, visit our website at www.urbanbikeproject.com or email us at urbanbikeproject@gmail.com. For the most up-to-date information on news and events, make sure to like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbanbikeproject.

-Post by Laura Wilburn