via Back Alley Bikes website screengrab
It will be a frigid outing, but Back Alley Bike's annual Bike the Blizzard ride is worth bundling up for.
Now in its third year, the 24-hour marathon bike session begins at midnight, and participating riders travel as far as they can through the wintry mess. And while it's not a ride with an entrance fee, Back Alley asks
riders to raise at least $50 in pledges, with all proceeds going to support the shop's multiple community programs.
For instance, the shop holds a program for adults to teach them how to repair and maintain bikes. A youth program puts children aged 8-18 through a four-to-five week session where they learn how to repair a bicycle, which they can keep afterward. The shop also offers a youth mechanics program that allows teenagers to train and eventually become a staff member at Back Alley for the summer.
In an email, Back Alley offsite program coordinator, Zachariah Wahid, says the shop accomplished quite a bit in 2014, including:
- giving away over 200 bikes
- helping youth repair over 100 bikes
- tutoring four mechanics-in-training
- salvaging over 1,000 bikes to be re-used
The 24-hour blizzard ride begins at midnight on January 18, and runs through midnight January 19. In its inaugural year, the ride attracted 12 riders, who rode a total of 610 miles, according to Back Alley Bikes
. The following year, 25 riders joined, raising over $6,500. The 2015 goal is $10,000, but, to be clear, Wahid says the ride will take place whether or not it's reached.
If you're interested in riding, or donating, you can find out more information here