City departments, nonprofit partner to bring bikes to residentsBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 23. 2018 9:03PM
MANCHESTER — Officials in Manchester have announced a new partnership between city departments and the Queen City Bike Collective aimed at helping to keep the group’s mission — giving city residents access to safe, affordable bikes — rolling along.
Queen City (QC) Bike assists residents in repairing and acquiring bicycles at minimal cost. On Monday Manchester officials announced several city departments — health, public works, police, and planning & community development — are doing their part to advance the cause.
“Though a partnership with the city, QC Bike is able to reach residents across Manchester and provide them with low cost, safe bicycles,” said Mayor Joyce Craig in a statement. “It’s a great program, and I’m proud of the robust public-private partnership that has been established.”
“We are grateful that the City of Manchester recognizes the need for a community bike shop and each department has developed creative ways to support our efforts,” said Abby Easterly, co-founder of QC Bike.
“It can be tough to pitch new ideas and having the City working with us is a huge boost.”
Through the Earn-A-Bike program, organized by the Manchester Health Department, QC Bike provides over 150 students at two city elementary schools with the opportunity to earn a refurbished bike, helmet, lock, and light set as a reward for their “successful demonstration of leadership skills learned through school-based leadership development programs,” according to a release. Both the bike packages and the leadership programs are funded by the Granite United Way as part of the Manchester Community Schools Project.
“Over the past two years, we have been fortunate to partner with QC Bike to provide over 300 refurbished bike packages to fourth and fifth grade students at Beech Street and Gossler Park Elementary Schools” said Jaime Hoebeke, Division Head of Chronic Disease Prevention and Neighborhood Health at the Manchester Health Department.
“This program would not be possible without QC Bike and we are very proud of this partnership as it truly exemplifies the power of collaboration.”
The city’s Department of Public Works is bringing bicycles that might otherwise have ended up in a scrap pile to the city’s Drop Off Facility on Dunbarton Road.
“Reusing and recycling bicycles is something we’ve talked about doing for a while, and we are very excited to be partnering with such a great organization,” says Environmental Programs Manager Mark Gomez. “It was a shame to see perfectly good bicycles going to waste, especially when there’s such a need in the community for low-cost bikes and parts.”
The Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries Division also recently announced a partnership to bring “Open Air Bike Repair” to Fun in the Sun, a day camp for Queen City residents aged six through 12 this summer.
“We want to help QC Bike reach the kids where they are, and during the summer many of them are at Fun In The Sun.” said Janet Horvath, Recreation and Enterprise Manager for the city.
The Manchester Police Department now donates all found or confiscated bicycles to QC Bike Collective, instead of sending them to auction out of state.
“The police department is very proud of our contribution to such an impactful community initiative which focuses on children and young adults,” said Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard.
The city’s Planning and Community Development department is supporting QC Bike’s Open Shop program with $7,500 in Community Improvement Program Funds.
Anyone interested in helping is urged to visit qcbike.org to learn about opportunities to volunteer their time, donate a bike, or make a financial contribution.