Bikes Not Bombs began in 1984 after our founders cycled across Western Nicaragua to identify organizations who could receive and distribute shipments of bikes in ways that would benefit local communities. We shipped our first 18 reconditioned bicycles to health care workers and teachers in service of increasing their access to economic and social opportunities. Since then, our work has expanded to include overseas shipment to partners across the Global South. Each of our partners is unique, having developed out of the specific needs of their communities. All reflect and resonate the greater mission of Bikes Not Bombs through community-based and locally owned programming.
The 5,000 to 6,000 bikes we get donated each year go to one of three program areas. Between 800 and 1,000 go to our youth-led bike shop, where they are refurbished and sold. Roughly 1,000 are set aside for our Youth Pathways employment and education programs, and around 3,500 are shipped to our international partners.
Can I find out who gets the bike I donate?
Road bikes will usually go to the shop to be refurbished and sold, some of which are earned by our Youth Pathways program participants. Our BMX bikes are also often earned by youth. Mountain bikes are generally shipped to our international partners. We can’t track each donated bike, but you might happen to see your bike donation in a BNB video or photo. Check out our social media channels -- we're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube!