Bikes for life is a small charity organisation.
It started with Ebony Butler, out of Melbourne who is a documentary film maker and she identified the bikes were an incredible resources to have, overseas in these countries and how many of ours go to waste.
Disregarded every time there is a council clean up or cleaning someone’s garage.
So she started collecting bikes with local friends and family within the community in Melbourne. After a while it got to a point where people’s backyards were filling up and we managed to acquire some warehouses. But as the program has grown we've got some offices now with warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
So on a weekend, our workshop consists of people coming down from the community, helping to cleam, fix and mend the bikes. Make sure they're safe, make sure anything needs replacing and most of the bikes are often a quick fix. Could be a pump of a tire or clean and it’s ready to be packed.
We go through the bikes we make sure they’re safe. Then take of pedals, turning the handle bars, mainly for packing to get more into a container. Then they go on the racks until there is enough to fill a container. That could be a twenty foot container or forty foot container and as soon as we have enough to go overseas they get packed up and sent. So it is a constant cycle of bikes being fixed and cleaned and bikes being sent off to their destinations.
The bikes for life program consists of collecting bikes from the community. These bikes can come from anywhere, from local council clean ups to peoples garages or community groups. We would encourage anyone to come down and help us out.
No bike mechanic skills are needed it's really just coming down and lending a hand. From anything from pumping a tire to turning sausages on the BBQ. We rely on anyone from all age groups.
One of the greatest rewards we have is seeing these bikes being used overseas.
A bike is a simple tool we often take for granted. We may ride for a short period of time, we may grow out of it. But when you see what a bike could mean to these communities overseas, it really does give it a sense of purpose and what it can be used for."