What a Day – July 28 Success!

Working Bikes was as busy as ever last Saturday. Even with a slight hiccup on the arrival of our shipping container, we still worked arduously during the last weekend of July to pack a container and donate Cycle of Peace bikes.

Our in-house efforts packed 510 adult and kids’ bikes for Africycle’s project in Malawi. A special shout-out to Saint Sabina for coming on Saturday to join the shipping party, and to all our walk-in volunteers for another full container!

That same day we tabled at the Bughouse Square Debates, our After School Matters program presented a fix-a-flat workshop at The Plant’s Closed Loop Forum & Fest, and we donated locally to communities in South Shore, Englewood, and Austin.

Below is the tally for our Cycle of Peace, aka youth local donations:
55 – South Merrill Community Garden’s 2nd Annual Summer Block Club Party
14 – Think Outside Da Block Party in Englewood
12 – the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Block Party at Austin Hall

The calculated grand total of bikes donated on Saturday, including internationally and locally, is 592! With the work of our volunteers, board and staff July 28 was marked a huge summer success!


The Cycle of Peace is everywhere this Saturday!

This Saturday! Working Bikes is bringing the Cycle of Peace from Over East, to Out West, Down South and even Up (near) North! Please join us at these great community events or at the shipping party in the Heart of Chicago!

This is #summertimechi #cycleofpeace. It is an insane, all-city celebration of so much we love, but is totally inconceivable without the energy, time, and love of volunteers! Please, if you would like to attend or assist with any of these events, email volunte[email protected]. It is never too late to begin volunteering!

St. Sabina Day of Service kick-off Rally. 9am
1210 W. 78th place, Chicago
It is Saint Sabina’s annual Day of Service in which all members are asked to volunteer (“Be blessed and be a blessing”). Following the rally a group of volunteers from Saint Sabina will join us for our shipping party to Malawi.

Shipping party begins at Working Bikes at 2434 S Western. We will be completing the second day of loading bikes to donate to our partners in Malawi, Africycle!

Bughouse Square Debates!
901 N Clark, Chicago
Our favorite freaky marching band, Environmental Encroachment will be kicking off this celebration of free speech at noon. Rick Kogan will be hosting and WB will be tabling.

2nd Annual Paradise on Merrill Block party
7000 S. Merrill, Chicago

We will be supporting the work of the awesome organizers and gardeners of the 70th and Merrill Community garden by donating bicycles to the children of South Shore. Our friends from Blackstone Bicycle Works will be joining us as well to make sure that all the kids have access to working bicycles.

Working Bikes After School Matters Apprentices present at
Closed Loop Forum and Fest @ The Plant, Chicago
1400 W 46th Street

It’s hard to believe, but our After School Matters Summer Apprentices are almost finished with their program. They will be leading a flat repair workshop at The Plant Chicago’s amazing Closed Loop Fest. The fest goes from 9am-7pm and tickets are $15. Our Summer apprentices will be leading their demonstration around 2pm.

Poetry Block Party at Austin Town Hall
5620 W. Lake Street, Chicago

Working Bikes is exceptionally proud to be asked to join The Poetry Foundation at their annual Poetry Block Party. We will be providing free bicycle repair and donating children’s bikes. Eve Ewing, Joseph Chillums, and avery young are all performing!

and an early warning!

on Saturday 8/11 we will be at Lagunitas Beer Circus! We’ll need volunteers starting at 9am, but the fest is from 12-5pm.

Can’t wait to see everyone out and about this weekend!
Peace + bike grease,
WB Crew


Spring Shipping Party Results

This spring season, we’ve sent over a thousand bikes to our international partners!

513 bikes were sent to Africycle in Malawi, 516 bikes were sent to Village Bicycle Project in Ghana and 491 bikes were sent to A&K Philanthropy in Jordan. As always, a big thank you to all our volunteers that came out to lend a hand the past few weeks.

We’re planning our next shipping party to Guatemala in early June. Be on the lookout for the dates. No experience is necessary! We love showing folks the ropes.

Contact [email protected] or give a call for any questions. 


Working Bikes Receives Evanston Bike Club’s $3500 Grant

Photo Courtesy of Evanston Bicycle Club’s website

Working Bikes applied for a grant through the Evanston Bicycle Club for bike-related programs of not-for-profit organizations.  The grant will help provide bicycles to adults in need of transportation in the Chicago area through the Working Bikes Cycle of Power program.  The funds will help cover the costs associated with collecting up to 140 bikes and providing locks and helmets to the Cycle of Power recipients.

The money for the EBC grant program is raised from the registration fees for the North Shore Century.  We encourage riders to sign up for this year’s century on September 16, 2018!


Working Bikes 2017 Top Shop Awardees

Early this spring we’ve been award 17 shop owners that use their space to collect over several dozen bikes in 2017.

Number of Bikes Collected from Each Drop-off Location

455 – Bicycles Etc., Lisle and Naperville
386 – George Garner Cyclery – Libertyville, Northbrook, and Lake Zurich
283 – Village CycleSport – Arlington Heights and Barrington
235 – Wheel & Sprocket – Evanston and Oak Park
201 – Glenview Cycle
180 – Epic Cycle and Fitness
147 – Green Bay Cycles
136 – Performance Bicycle Lombard
125 – Trek Bicycle Highland Park
125 – The Wheel Thing
105 – 7 Mile Cycle
93 – Cycle Smithy
88 – All Spoked Up
71 – Beverly Bike and Ski
62 – Performance Bicycle Lincoln Park
57 – REI Co-op Lincoln Park
57 – RRB Cycles Kenilworth

Working Bikes runs on the donations we receive so we’re happy to acknowledge the shops that take the time to make their shops an accessible location for folks to donate bikes without folks needing to come all the way to our warehouse to donate bikes.

Know a bike shop in your area that could be our next drop off location? Contact us at [email protected] or call our shop at (773) 847-5440 to get your neighborhood bike shop to help support the cause.


Terra of Bikes: Earth Day Event Numbers

Earth Day weekend has passed and we have the numbers!


Glen Ellyn Recycling Extravaganza – 32
Alderman Hopkins Earth Day Event – 12
Earth Day Fair in Porter County – 16
Northbrook Earth & Arbor Day – 15
Glendale Heights Recycling Event – 7
River Forest
Recycling Extravaganza – 40
Oak Park Earth Fest – 11
Schaumburg Recycling Event – 37
Saint Elizabeth Seton Church
Bike Drive (Orland Hills) – 138

Saint George Church
Bike Drive (Tinley Park} – 78
Congregation Hakafa, Am Shalom and North Shore Congregation Israel – 78
Lincoln School Bike Drive Evanston – 5

Grand Total – 469

We couldn’t have done this without the amazing support of Chicagoland recycling event organizers that love to spread our mission around. Many thanks to our staff, volunteers, and donors who have made this all possible.

Excited to see what next year will bring!


A Year in Schlepping: 2017 Annual Report

The Working Bikes Crew is excited to bring you a new set of highlights from last year. Since 2013, we’ve picked out our top stats and stories that best shows the amazing work we’ve done.

2017 was yet another record-breaking year for us as we donated a total of 8,430 bikes which exceeds the 8,323 bikes from last year. Over 6,000 of them were shipped to international partners while another 1,000 or so were given as donations to folks in the Chicagoland area.

As always we are immensely grateful for the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and bike donors that have helped make this possible.  Let’s keep pushing in 2018!

You can find the full 2017 Annual Report here. 


Surprise Bike Donation to Esperanza Health Centers’ Diabetes Group

Yesterday, we gave a surprise donation to a lucky member of the Esperanza Health Center diabetes focus group! The program focuses on educating their most uncontrolled diabetic patients to help them better understand the disease while helping participants take control of their health.

By the end, folks are strongly encouraged to usually end group on a strong note that emphasizes the importance of physical activity in a healthy lifestyle. Through a series of medication management, education and group discussion they encourage their patients to share and learn from one another.  

As always, we’re excited about growing partnership with Esperanza Health Centers and looking forward to more collaborative projects together as we approach the warmer months.

Click here to learn more about Esperanza Health Centers and their mission.


8th Graders Donate $7000 to Working Bikes!

We’re super excited to announce this large donation from the amazing 8th grade class of GEMS Academy! Working Bikes is one of twelve charitable organizations selected by GEMS Academy as beneficiaries for their annual fundraising efforts!

GEMS aims to reinforce important values like generosity and volunteerism into their students. Students, parents, and the entire GEMS community work together to raise funds. Last year they raised over $3,400 for each of our chosen charities. This year the raised managed to raise over $86,000 total for all 12 charities, of which $7225  was given to Working Bikes. In addition to the money, the 8th-grade class held a bike drive for us on MLK day and got the full Working Bikes experience in Brandon’s Bike Shop, our volunteer workspace.

Yesterday Andrew, our volunteer coordinator, attended their “big check” presentation to explain our mission and express our immense gratitude for their awesome hard work. Working Bikes is very proud to have been chosen by this amazing group of youth and we are always grateful to the Chicago community for supporting us in our efforts to spread goodwill to our local and global communities.

Learn more about GEMS World Academy here! Like to make a donation to Working Bikes? Learn how you can get involved today!


Working Bikes Donates 210 kid’s bikes to Free Bikes 4 Kids Madison

On February 28 Working Bikes Board members Lee and Phil delivered 210 children’s bikes in a rented 26-foot truck to FB4K in Madison. They needed the bikes to help meet their goal of giving out 1000 bikes at their giveaway event on March 24. They are partnering with 39 community organizations to line up recipients for the bikes. We at Working Bikes love to partner with other bike organizations to get bikes to those who need them.