Let’s go on a trip: the story of the Birmingham Recyclery

birmingham trips for kids alabama
Trips for Kids Birmingham works to introduce inner-city children to mountain biking. (Contributed)

I love to ride my bike.  It’s a lot of fun and it’s generally pretty good for you (unless you get hit by a car).  And I like to spread the love on Bham Now, too!  You probably already know about Redemptive Cycles and the great work they do, but a newcomer to the Birmingham cycling scene is starting to make waves.  Meet Birmingham Recyclery.

Travel down to Old Car Heaven on 1st Avenue South, and a bright green bicycle hanging on a post might catch your eye.  That’s the Recyclery. Doug Brown runs the Recyclery, which means he runs the reason behind it as well.  The Recyclery is meant to support summer and after-school programs to get kids, especially kids in high-risk areas, outdoors and active – especially if it means giving them a bike and teaching them how to take care of it!  How do they do it?

Go on a trip
doug brown birmingham recyclery trips for kids
Doug Brown runs the Birmingham Trips for Kids chapter – via vestaviavoice.com

Trips for Kids is a nation-wide program to accomplish all this.  The Birmingham chapter typically takes kids to Oak Mountain to ride.  School and church groups make up the bulk of the participants.

Doug started the Birmingham chapter in 2013, but the Recyclery started in August 2016.  There’s “every kind of bike you can think of, prices starting at about 50 bucks and going up to 500.”  I saw a Regions branded bike (you know the ad campaign) sitting near the front.

birmingham alabama recyclery trips for kids
The Birmingham Recyclery (this isn’t all of it, either!) – via tripsforkidsbham.org

“We just had our first class of earn-a-bike kids come through.  The kids come in and learn bike safety, the parts and all that, they do a little classroom time and then an afternoon somewhere to do some community service hours, then the end of the program is they come into the shop and the volunteer mechanics will take a bike apart or repair a bike with them.  Most of them leave here at least knowing how to change a tire, and they get a bike out of the experience!”

“Last time, one of the little girls couldn’t even ride a bike when she started.  When she left, she was actually riding!”

If you’re looking for a cheap bike, try the Recyclery!  Thanks to its location, Doug can stock a lot more bikes than Redemptive Cycles.  You can contact the recyclery by emailing info@tripsforkidsbham.org

James Ozment
James Ozment

I'm a Birmingham native who loves music, cycling, reading, and tech. Find me on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College, in Avondale, or hanging out with my cat

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