Austin Yellow Bike Project Logo
By Sara Young
While riding around Austin has not gotten any easier, I have found a great resource for cyclists in Austin. Austin’s Yellow Bike Project, “YBP,” a non-profit devoted to being a resource for cyclists and non-cyclists alike is truly a cyclist’s paradise.
What YBP does is provide an environment in which people can come and build or repair bikes for free, as long as they donate hours in volunteer time proportionate to the time they spend repairing or fixing their project bike. YBP provides tools, parts, and technical assistance so that anyone can fix or build any bicycle that they want.
Darrin Littleton built a bike at YBP two years ago and has nothing but good things to say about the shop.
Two years ago I decided to stop driving and get around by bike and bus. The problem was that I did not have a bike. I went to Yellow Bike Project and built a bike from scratch. They helped me every step of the way. Ever since I have been getting around Austin with my bike and my bus pass and I love it. It is so much better than driving.
Bruce Patterson, a long-time resident of Austin and frequent user of YBP agrees. He uses the non-profit in a slightly different way, however.
On large garbage day, I go around and collect bikes to bring in to YBP. Sometimes I end up fixing them and trading them in for a bike I would rather have. That is how I got my electric bike. Sometimes I just drop off the bikes. Either way, they are very helpful with whatever project I am working on.
YBP is a great resource and has many projects aimed at getting people on bikes. Most of them are aimed at children and people without the ability to afford bikes themselves. The shop’s earn-a-bike program enables individuals who volunteer for 24 hours to earn a bike in exchange for their volunteer time. During the time they volunteer, individuals gain skills and knowledge about building and repairing bikes.
YBP is a great resource for the people of Austin in that it provides advocacy, support and bikes for people in need. You can visit their website or go to their shop to see how you can help.
Sara Young is a writer, artist, cyclist, amateur yogi and avid poetry appreciator. Originally from Chicago, IL, and most recently from Portland, OR, Sara is presently traveling the US, working on her project, 25 Days, in which she travels to 15 cities around the US, talking to people about their favorite places and bicycle commuting. She hopes to create a more bike-friendly society through advocacy, and a more peaceful world through listening.