MANHATTAN — A non-profit that uses the humble bicycle as a catalyst to help young people will hold its annual summit this weekend in the West Village.
Recycle-a-Bicycle, a community-based bike shop that formed in the East Village, holds its second Youth Bike Summit from Saturday until Monday.
It draws together like minded organization and people to share ideas on advocacy, education and the many ways a bike can assist young people.
“It is really exciting to meet people that are involved in the same pursuits,” said Pasqualina Azzarello, 37, executive director of the organization that was founded in 1994.
Recycle-a-Bicycle trains hundreds of young people each year in bicycle mechanics while providing teen riding programs and refurbished bikes to underprivileged kids.
The summit connects the leaders of similar organizations as well as their young constituents from around the county. This year, she hopes it will include a contingent from England.
At this year’s summit, which will be held at the New School on West 12th and Sixth Avenue, attendees are scheduled to hear a keynote address from Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and one of Recycle-a-Bicycle's young members, Alpha Barry.
The remainder of the event will be broken into workshops such as First Aid Training for Cyclists hosted by Woodhull Hospital, Designing a Bike Network from Scratch with the Department of Transportation and organization Local Spokes, and a lesson on how to create a youth bike program from Bikes Not Bombs.
Recycle-a-Bicycle began as an outgrowth of the advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives, starting out by teaching young people in the East Village and Lower East Side to restore discarded bicycles. The intern program has grown to include workshops in Long Island City and DUMBO, where Recycle-a-Bicycle now has its headquarters.
The organization has also expanded to encompass in-school programs where students can get credit for bicycle mechanic classes that are taught at workshops within the school. Recently the in-school program landed in its eighth location at Landmark High School in Chelsea.