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BICAS helps people find, build and maintain their own affordable transportation

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Posted at 3:51 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 20:46:07-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As we turn the calendar to May, with warmer weather moving in before the full heat of the Southern Arizona summer, we tend to turn to outdoor activities like biking.

That's where this month's KGUN 9 Giving Project nonprofit BICAS comes in.

BICAS—an acronym for Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage—is a bicycle recycling and education center, geared toward people struggling to make ends meet. As part of their mission statement BICAS advocates for accessible transportation for all.

Located north of Downtown near Grant Road and 6th Avenue, BICAS takes in donations of used bikes, then offers them for sale at very affordable prices, either completely rebuilt and refurbished, or simply as-is with a tune-up.    

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"Here's where we have our ready-to-sell bikes," said BICAS Board Member Matt Harmon. "Right, if you want to walk in we have bikes at all price points—relatively affordable."

While BICAS does serve as a one-stop community bike shop, it's also an education center, offering classes in bike repair, basic maintenance, wheel building and more.

The nonprofit's Work-Trade Program also offers an opportunity to get involved with the organization while earning credits toward bike parts or an entire bicycle.

And it's not just about providing bikes to people. BICAS has a holistic approach, which also allows bike riders to pay-it-forward with donations of their own bikes, whether gently, or not-so-gently, used.

"We accept all sorts of donations, so if you have bike parts or a bike that you would like to bring in, that really helps us," Development Coodinator Kristen Lindgren tells me. "Then we could fix them up and give it to someone who's really in need."

It's like the old adage: Those old bikes and bike parts can end up being a new treasure to someone in need of their own transportation, but can't afford another option.

"A lot of people are just trying to get to and from work. The roads here are super bumpy, a lot of thorns," says BICAS mechanic Oma Garcia-Thwing.

"Bikes that we get donated to us a lot of the time are kind of perfect for what people are looking for."

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BICAS, 2001 N. 7th Avenue, offers bikes for sale, repair classes, bike-part art and more.

BICAS, located at 2001 N. 7th Avenue, is open Tuesday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., with classes at various times throughout the month.

There are two ways to help BICAS. Visit their online donor portal to make a monetary donation. Or, you can donate bikes, parts, other tools and even your time. Find out more at bicas.org/donate.

Don't forget, your Giving Project donation qualifies for Arizona's charitable tax credit.

Our partners in the Giving Project, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will again match the first $500 in donation.

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Art from bike parts at BICAS

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Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing pat.parris@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

THE GIVING PROJECT

The Giving Project

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GIVING PROJECT TOTAL CASH DONATIONS SINCE LAUNCH

  • $1876.00 - May 2022
  • $1523.00 - June 2022
  • $3375.00 - July 2022
  • $5128.00 - August 2022
  • $2050.00 - September 2022
  • $6500.00 - October 2022
  • $3006.00 - November 2022
  • $6500.00 - December 2022
  • $7535.00 - January 2023
  • $1260.00 - February 2023
  • $3500.00 - March 2023
  • $4395.00 - April 2023
  • $580.00 - May 2023
  • $2164.49 - June 2023
  • $1760.00 - July 2023
  • $1175.00 - August 2023
  • $17,153 - September 2023
  • $500.00 - October 2023
  • $1770.00 - November 2023
  • $5540.00 - December 2023
  • $5350.00 - January 2024
  • $4087.00 - February 2024
  • $4500.00 - March 2024
  • $1055.00 - April 2024

TOTAL TO DATE - $92,282.49

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE NON PROFIT
The Giving Project wants to identify local nonprofits that address community needs to spotlight a new nonprofit every month. Email details and contact information to givingproject@kgun9.com.