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Urban Bike Project ramps up bike distribution in response to increased demand

Who couldn’t use a bike ride right now?

It appears many more of us are kicking tires on the activity than before the Covid-19 Crisis. In fact, Urban Bike Project, the Wilmington-based, non-profit community bike shop that operates at 1500 N. Walnut Street, has received an unprecedented number of requests for free or inexpensive bikes over the past few months. So, they’re doing something about it.

During the next month, UBP plans to distribute 200 bikes through no-cost giveaways and affordable sales. The campaign is made possible in part by a $10,000 grant from the Laffey McHugh Foundation in response to an increased demand for bicycles during Delaware’s stay-at-home emergency declaration.

“These difficult times have created a unique opportunity for us to slow down and reconsider old assumptions,” said Laura Wilburn, UBP Executive Director. “We’ve seen folks dusting off bikes they hadn’t touched in years, spending time with their families in nature, using bikes for short trips to the store and around the block, wondering why they waited until now to start.

“We’re rediscovering the joy of fresh air in our lungs and the woosh of a downhill, and we’re re-imagining what’s possible by bicycle. Urban Bike Project is excited to help Wilmington residents find new ways to prioritize their health and happiness, and to continue to offer a lifeline to the many individuals who rely on their bikes for mobility and access to services, now more than ever.”

“Due to the generosity and foresight of our grantor and bike donors, UBP has an opportunity to step-up and impact our community in a short span of time,” added Eileen Kauffman, UBP Board Chairperson. “Many things may change as a result of these times and biking may prove to become more prevalent in many facets of our lives, which we believe many people are realizing first-hand now.”

Free bikes will be given away to adults in need of transportation through distribution events in partnership with emergency food pantries across the city. Sales are available to the general public at www.urbanbikeproject.com/buy-a-bike.

Bicycle donations for this initiative were provided by University of Delaware, Wilmington Police Department, and Smyrna Police Department. UBP is currently accepting donations from individuals. You can help UBP reach their goal by scheduling a drop-off or pick-up (adult bikes are especially needed). To contact UBP call (302) 300-4323 or visit urbanbikeproject@gmail.com.

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