After School Bike Shop Program Trains Young Makers

Photo by Noah K. Murray

A great story from the Newark Star-Ledger:

“Miss Kerri, this won’t come off,” said King Woods, who was working on a Dunelt bike.

“These old bikes, it’s always a tight fit with the forks,” Kerri Martin replied, handing the 14-year-old Woods a screwdriver. “Wiggle it down.”

The wiggling worked, and Woods continued on his repair job.

“I’m a bike doctor,” explained Jack Pitzer, who was working on an Electra Townie 7D. “I’m taking bikes and giving them a second life. I give a diagnosis, get them treated and send them home.”

He smiled. “We never lose a patient.”

At Second Life Bikes on Main Street, the patients are bikes, and they all have stories. The 38-year-old Martin, who started fixing bikes once a week in a church garage four years ago, now presides over an operation that includes 10 volunteers, scores of kids and 1,000-plus bicycles.

The 12- to 18-year-olds, most from Asbury Park, Neptune City and Neptune Township, come in after school to repair bikes. When they put in 15 hours of work, they earn a free bike.

Second Life Bike’s philosophy is stated on a pamphlet: “We rescue bikes. We fix bikes. We sell bikes. We earn bikes. We ride bikes. We love bikes.”

About 200 children have worked at Second Life Bikes this year alone. Some put in a few hours, never to be seen again. Others, like Woods and Dajon Williams (pictured above), are determined to get that free bike.

When I get my bike,” said the 11-year-old Williams, thinking ahead, “I can come here and fix it.” (emphasis ed.)

Props to Kerri Martin and her organization — every kid should have a place like this where they can go. You can learn more about Second Life Bikes at their website:

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

1 Comment

  1. Very cool. Bike Works ( is a similar program in Seattle.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.