In many third world countries, a bicycle can make a life-changing difference where the only other transportation option is walking. Its the difference between being able to attend school or increase marketplace sales.
I havn’t owned a bicycle in lord knows how long, but I know plenty of people that have one rotting away in their garage. Since bikes are kind of bulky (only kinda), all of the organizations below operate regionally. I hope you can find one near you!
Bikes for the World: DC Area but also includes New York, North Carolina, and Virginia Sites
Bikes for the World is a nonprofit group out of the Washington, DC area that provides bicycles to community development programs in third world countries. Some of the bikes are provided at low cost in exchange for community service and others are provided as rewards to students who do well in school and have to travel long distance to attend class. Bikes for the World also has a domestic program called the Rockville Youth Bicycle Project which offers kids the change to earn a refurbished bicycle for doing community service. Upcoming collection dates and sites can be found here.
Working Bikes Cooperative: Chicago, IL but includes various Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana drop-off locations
Working Bikes Cooperative restores bicycles and distributes them for free both locally and internationally. International bicycles are donated to individuals who rely on them as a primary source of transportation. Local bikes are donated to day camps and city programs.
Pedal Revoluation: San Francisco, CA
A non-profit bike shop in San Francisco that refurbishes used bicycles and teaches at risk youth how to ride and repair them. Their store is located at:
3085 21st Street at South Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94110
You can visit their site here.
Cylces of Change: Alameda, CA
Taken directly from their site: “Cycles of Change’s primary strategic goal is to enable as many youth and adults as possible in the East Bay’s flatlands communities to use bicycles as a healthy, low-cost, efficient, safe form of primary transportation. For the past 10 years, Cycles and partner agencies have been working to build a network of neighborhood-based bicycle education and distribution programs that can serve the basic transportation needs of hundreds of Alameda County’s residents." Cycles of Change accepts bicycles for donation and recycling (if not up to donation par). Visit their site here for more details.
Recycle a Bicycle: New York, NY
Recycle a Bicycle works with children in NYC public schools and after-school programs. Visit their page here for details.
Community Bike Programs: If you did not find an organization near you, check here. This is a directory of Community Bike Programs in the US by state. You’ll have to check with the actual program in your area to see if they are accepting used bikes.