The bicycle is an amazing technological innovation, and creative people never seem to run out of amazing ways to use it. While the riders in the Tour de France are now using their bikes to descend mountain passes at speeds in excess of 60 mph, others are using bikes for more practical and charitable purposes. Case in point: The Chattanooga Community Kitchen and Outdoor Chattanooga have joined to give the homeless some pedal power.According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Kitchen is using bikes to give to homeless people to relieve the stress of walking from place to place.
"A bicycle is just a very efficient means of transportation," said Philip Pugliese, bicycle coordinator for Outdoor Chattanooga. "If it can enable someone to make it to another business, another place of employment, or another service, that can help them better themselves."
"It's easy to figure that many homeless people walk eight to 12 miles a day," said Jans Christiansen, who works at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. "That's the reason we offer foot-care as a part of our services."
Under the new program, the Community Kitchen will evaluate and approve applications for bicycles. Outdoor Chattanooga will collect the bikes, provide training and give a helmet and a bike lock to the homeless person.
Bikes will come from donations from the public and will be repaired with money from Mayor Ron Littlefield's Art of Change program, Mr. Pugliese said.
Want to Pitch In?
If you want to contribute to the program, please contact Outdoor Chattanooga at 423-643-6888 or visit here. Currently, they have seven bikes but their goal is 50. You can also get involved in your local bike advocacy organization. They are often doing similarly amazing programs to help get people on a bike.