Topeka Community Cycle Project aims to get ‘Bods rolling

Stephanie Cannon, [email protected] is a mass media major

Have you ever been in a situation in which you were stuck in your dorm because you don’t have a car or you just wanted to get to class quickly without all the time it takes to walk there, but you’re a student, so extra cash is hard to come by?

If so, then you’re in luck, because the Topeka Community Cycle Project has the key to your newfound independence — a free bicycle.

The project itself is a non-profit program that allows members of the community to gain skills in building, repairing, and earning free bicycles, but this isn’t their only function. They also advocate for cyclists’ rights such as more bike lanes needed in different areas of town in order to allow riders to have a safer commute, selling bike racks built by the local prison to local businesses around town at cost, and providing courses that are free for the community that include topics such as bike safety in different environments, tips for safe night time rides or proper safety equipment.

Washburn students can take advantage of this program just as easily as anyone else in Topeka who is in need of transportation. It takes five volunteer hours to earn a bike, which will either be ready to ride out the door, or close to it, and volunteers can fix or replace parts on their bikes by contributing enough hours to earn different necessities. If your bike isn’t quite road-worthy yet there’s no need to worry, the project will help you get the parts necessary to fix it.

Katie Snider, a Washburn student who volunteers at the Cycle Project, adds, “You can learn a lot about bikes, how they work and how to fix them, just by being here, and I know that a lot of kids that don’t have cars at Washburn. It’s a great form of transportation without spending a lot of money because college kids, you know, don’t have a lot. ”

Not only are these ideals that can offer each student the ability to grow, but it also allows each student have the ability to gain independence while also knowing they have helped others to gain the same independence.

Rhonda and Paul, local residents of the area, have both benefited positively from the program and had advice for anyone who is interested. “I’ve only been here a few times but every time I’ve come in everyone is very helpful,” said Rhonda. “You come in and if you have a bike you need to work on they have all the tools and all the parts you need for your bicycle.” lIf you would like to volunteer then you can attend any scheduled volunteer session, which are announced on their website, or call (785) 380-9827.

The Topeka Community Cycle Project is located at 423 S Kansas Ave, The hours to volunteer are every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. so be sure to plan accordingly.

If you would like to learn more about the Topeka Community Cycle Project be sure to visit their website at www.cycleproject.org or add them on Facebook at www. facebook.com/cycleproject.