A brilliant new Australia based project to support and all it needs is your old bike gear!
Guide Max Hofman has worked with us for over a decade. He is loved by guests for his enthusiasm, spirit and dedication to every rider on tour. In his downtime from touring, he works as a teacher in Young, country NSW. His specialty at school is cycling (of course!) and those kids who need a little extra hand.
Many of you will have ridden with Max on tour and heard his passion for bikes and helping kids. He has now developed and is running an amazing in-school project building bikes with kids who want to ride but don’t own or can’t afford a bike. But beyond this – and more importantly – his workshop has become the hub for the school kids. A place for them to feel comfortable and at home, as well as learn, experiment and develop practical skills and friendships. For many kids, this is their haven and Max’s program is now being recognised as an inspiring way to integrate, teach and develop kids’ abilities and confidence – as well as bike skills.
This project is now expanding from his country town of Young across NSW and we want to help.
Read below, straight from the horse’s mouth:
Max: “It’s been a big decade for the ReCyclers of Young! In 2020 (post Covid), the ReCycle program co-ordinated the biggest sport allocation at Young High School, overtaking the rugby, netball and field sports codes as the no.1 sports pick @ YHS – the first time this has been achieved by a cycling group in the State.
Over the past decade, the program has developed from a disabilities-based program – in which we modified bicycles to be safe for adults to use by adding adult bike training wheels or towing systems, to a school-based program that recycles old bikes to make functional binary rollers for students who do not own their own bike. Of course, the student’s undeniable creativity cannot be inhibited, so we have come up with some weird and wonderful designs over the years!
We have received amazing support from our local cycling club in Young many of the Bike Odyssey fideli (regular riders) and the Bike Odyssey HQ who have sent us some cracking bikes that were otherwise dust gathering shed dwellers. Odyssey has also supplied us with tools, bottles, shirts and bike paraphernalia, which boosts our students no end. The last three steeds we received from Wazza, Mozza & Jozza completed a full set of road / hybrid racers for our juniors to utilise in preparation for their progression from school-based cyclists to the ranks of the local cycling club.
Our program has been inclusive of all riders and we have taught many students to ride from scratch in their teenage years; something that has been both immensely fulfilling as well as emotionally challenging at the same time, one comment, ‘you’re teaching me what my dad never did’ brought both me and my colleague close to tears after one of our ReCycle students finally rode unassisted!
With the exponential growth of bike loving students, the amount of materials we use has increased considerably! Our bike fleet is now 40 strong and includes tandems, electric bikes, full carbon racers, stunt BMX’s and everything in between! We also have more than 100 frames that allow students to explore, destroy and recreate bikes in a wonderful, continuous engineering experience.
From the ReCycle team @ YHS, we send our sincerest thanks for the support and assistance you have all provided over the years. We look forward to delivering the ReCycle program to other schools in the district😉”
– Max Hofman
There are a few ways to help the Re-Cycle project
- The ReCycle Project is currently raising money for tools, bike stands, racks and spares – not just the hand-me-downs from Bike Odyssey! The Go Fund Me page is here.
- The ReCycle Project always needs bikes. If you have spares, which so many of us do, please consider handing them down to kids who will use and love them – email us here: [email protected] to get in touch and Bike Odyssey will arrange to come to pick them up and pass them on.
- Max is currently working with Rotary International Young to set up a way to donate directly to this charity project to fund spares, lubes, parts, etc. Being a school based project, Max’s time is paid for by the school. However, so much more is needed to keep a workshop rolling and public schools cannot fund this. If you are interested in donating, please get in touch with [email protected]
- Get in touch here – [email protected] or [email protected]. We are always open to new ideas and ways to progress and expand this excellent program!