Geared Up Bikestation in Houston is a community bike shop and advocacy organization that began a year ago. Their mission is “to bring forth innovative programs that will educate residents of the health and environmental benefits of bicycling, advocate the integration of bike-and-pedestrian friendly roads and trails, and provide bikes to those in need.”
At least twice a month, the group puts on a Cycle & See, a bike ride plus scavenger hunt that encourages participants to see their own neighborhood in a new light and empowers them to mobilize for change. Sistah Spokes with Geared Up Bikestation says, “Cycle & See allows residents to take an active role in surveying their community and the greater Houston area and in turn, engage in discourse that leads to action. Bicycling, though effective in addressing the health concerns of the community, can also become an effective tool to engaging a community in future planning initiatives.” She also says that Cycle & See encourages a presence of minorities on bicycles in the neighborhood. The next Cycle & See is scheduled for July 28 in Acres Homes, and a ride in Buffalo Bayou is in the works for August 11.
In addition to getting people to tour their neighborhoods by bicycle, Geared Up Bikestation also works to get schoolchildren on bicycles in the first place. Students in the afterschool program at Lincoln Park had a chance to earn a bike this past school year. Participating kids learned how to build and repair a bike, and those who completed the entire program earned a new bike of their own. Of the 22 participating children, 11 (10 boys and one girl) saw the entire program through to the end and now are proud bicycle owners. Geared Up Bikestation plans to repeat the program this fall at Lincoln Park and Finnegan Park.
Live in the area and want to get involved? Go here and click Cycle & See in the menu to register for an upcoming ride, or click Volunteer to help out in the shop. Visit Geared Up Bikestation’s Facebook page to see the latest news.