Celebrating the Bicycle and the Commitment of Working Bikes

A great invention changes society for the better. And 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of arguably one of the greatest inventions in history: the bicycle.

Bikes have undeniable global impact. For more economically-developed countries, the bicycle offers benefits of exercise, reduced environmental harm, recreation, and cost-effective transportation. For vulnerable populations of the world, access to a bike is even more significant. The bicycle affords means to securing water, food, healthcare, education, and other basic necessities of livelihood.

Since 2015, AKP has been using the power of bikes to address human development disparities and inequities in the local communities where our A&K guests travel. With more than 4,000 bikes shipped to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and future locations in the works, our Bike Shop Program has proven to be one of AKP’s most impactful projects. We know this has only been possible through the combined efforts and support of all those who share our mission.  At the start of this milestone year for the bike, AKP would like to recognize the nonprofit organization Working Bikes for their incredible dedication in aligning with AKP to positively impact the lives of our partner communities.

Loading into a bike container at A&K US offices in 2016

Chicago-based Working Bikes rescues discarded bicycles and gives them new life by redistributing them as tools of empowerment to communities, both around the world and in their very own neighborhood. They believe that the life of the bike doesn’t stop at its first owner—or second or third. Experienced bike mechanics and dedicated volunteers at the Working Bikes shop (2434 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL) refurbish donated bikes that would have otherwise gone unused or thrown away. On a global level, Working Bikes ships thousands of bicycles each year throughout Latin America and Africa, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Uganda, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Ghana. Locally, Working Bikes donates to individuals and partner organizations in Chicago, providing transportation to people in homeless transition, refugee resettlement, and youth empowerment programs in their own community.

AKP extends our sincerest thanks to Working Bikes, and also to all our thoughtful guests who are motivated to invest in the AKP Bike Program. With your collective support, AKP looks forward to celebrating the bicycle with even more opportunities to provide bikes to our partner communities in 2017.

More than 1,600 bikes have been shipped to the Nakatindi Bike Shop in Zambia