When bike thieves broke into the Urban Bike Project offices in Wilmington over the weekend they may have let the air out of the group, but they didn’t kill the spirit of the organization.
The bike project takes donated bikes for children to restore or sell. That accounts for the organization’s operating funds.
The program has been closed to the public this week after the organization tries to cope with the theft of several bikes, including some high value mountain bikes. Organizers say The Urban Bike Project will be ready in a short period of time to resume all of its programs and find ways to replace those 15 stolen bicycles.
The non-profit organization, funded in part by the state Department of Transportation, has temporarily stopped Open Shop, one of its weekly programs that lets community members repair their own bikes for free. UBP has continued its Youth Earn-a-Bike program and hopes to have all programs back on track as soon as possible.
While Wilmington police continue to investigate the theft, the community has reached out and donated money and bikes to UBP.
“People have been bringing in bikes ever since to replenish us,” said instructor Corry Wright. “There’s a wide gamut of people using the bikes, and they see the good that we do. They haven’t given up on us.”
The Urban Bike Project is usually open on Thursdays and Saturdays and always welcomes donations from the community. They are looking for people with large vehicles who can meet them at White Clay Creek in Newark on Saturday between 1-4pm to collect a large bike donation. There will be a bike repair session at the organization headquarters at 1908 Market Street in Wilmington on Tuesday night beginning at 6:30. For more information you can visit their website www.urbanbikeproject.org. You can contact their volunteer coordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.