As I begin taking the next steps to turn Bike and Brain into a tangible non-profit, I find myself pondering all the ways a bike can make a true difference. I can think of many obvious benefits, but one news story recently really brought the bikes true power to light.
If you are anyone who trolls the Internet you should know who James Robertson is.
James is a 56-year-old man from Detroit who just went viral. James, for the past decade, has been walking about 21 miles (roundtrip) to and from work everyday. He walks through all 4 seasons and has never missed a day in his career. James explained that his car had broken down about 10 years ago. He was unable to afford a new one, which is when he began walking.
To make a long story short, a young college student got wind of James’ story and started a “Go Fund Me”. The story quickly went viral and over $350,000 was raised. James is now sporting a new car and a new place to live. Needless to say, his commute is much easier and well deserved.
What has been done for this man by his community is a wonderful thing and should not be undermined. However, this story shed light on the potential for a bicycle to really make an impact on someone’s life. It is not commonplace for a community to get together and purchase a new car. Cars are expensive and require constant maintenance. In addition, the life of a car is usually not that long.
I can imagine there are many more people in this world that are struggling in the same way James was. The cost of transportation, both private and public, is astronomical and keeps rising. Imagine that we can outfit these people with a sturdy bike. One that requires little maintenance, can be fixed easily, and can haul a large load. The person, who was walking 10 miles to work, is now commuting in functional style. A bike could cut the commute time in half.
It is my vision to begin working towards the development of an organization that can provide low-income individuals with a reliable source of transportation. I would argue that with the right training, the right gear, and the right attitude, a bike can be far more efficient than an automobile and…….. much cheaper too. This is where I start.
-Bike and Brain