Kids Repair Program Offers Affordable Bikes to Those That Need it the Most

The KRP program is still helping Lansing residents repair bicycles.

Photo by Dylan Brockway

By Deborah M. Walker

LANSING, MI – It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement in your health. Cycling is a fun way to get in shape.  As children, it was the adventure of meeting up with friends and creating an adventure.  Being outdoors gives most a sense of freedom.  As adults, bicycle riding is low impact, alleviates strains, and provides a good workout for your muscles.  Even though cycling increases aerobic fitness, strength, and stamina, the excitement of riding down hills and feeling the breeze on your face also adds to positive mental health.

With gas prices so high, cycling is also a transportation option, therefore, decreasing your carbon footprint while also keeping up with physical activity without a gym membership.

Bikes can be expensive, and the cost to repair them can sometimes be an unaffordable hassle for many. The Kids Repair Program (KRP) allows parents to fix their child’s bicycles and keep them mobile. Regardless of the size, KRP has the tools to help parents repair any bicycle.

How the program began

Curt “Grandad” Eure started KRP. He began fixing bikes for children in his neighborhood in 1992. In the beginning, Eure wanted to help them own a bike.

“He didn’t start off with the program. He started out fixing neighborhood kids’ bikes, and he had the skills to fix their bikes, and that’s what he did,” said Jeanne Wright, Director of the Kids Repair Program.

By 1995 the KRP had evolved into a 501c3 non-profit and moved into the basement of the Impression 5 Museum. As the program grew, there was a need for more space, and in 2005, KRP moved to its new location on Wise Road in front of the Alfreda Schmidt Community Center.

Unfortunately, after six weeks of working with Eure, Wright said the founder had a stroke. He came back to visit once he was better. However, he never returned to assist the program.

According to his family, Eure passed away at the age of 87.

Who is eligible?

All bicycles are welcome at KRP; however, an individual must be an adult to come in and repair a bike, unless during bike camp. Some bikes may be too damaged for repair. In that case, a new bicycle may be provided and the parts of the unusable bicycle may be used as parts.

“Kids bring us bikes with no seats. We don’t have a full array of seat posts and seats with us. So, if we can, we just give them a bike… we’ve been doing that for ten years. I have tricycles here all the way up to $400 bikes that would take a man 6ft 2in with long legs. I have everything over here,” said Wright.

KRP does not repair the bikes for the customer. Instead, they provide the tools needed to fix the bike, and people make the repairs themselves. Bike tools can be expensive, explained Wright. The program takes away the struggle of finding proper tools.

Those looking to purchase a bike can do so during one of the fundraisers offered in the spring and fall. The spring fundraiser is going on until July 4. Buying a bicycle from KRP is much less expensive than other retailers.

“Last year, a lady came in and bought three bikes, wasn’t even $70, for her grandkids to put under the Christmas tree,” said Wright.

KRP does not accept credit card payments or debit cards. Payments must be in the form of cash or check. The bicycles do not come with a warranty. If it needs repair, an adult can bring it on Wednesday to be worked on.

The bicycle repair camp is held several times during the summer for youth. Contact KRP for availability or more information.

Want to donate a bicycle or work on one?

Donations to KRP come from a variety of places, said Wright. There are many drop-off locations scattered throughout the city. Moving tenants also leave bicycles at apartment complexes, and various police departments contribute.  Unwanted bicycles can also be brought into KRP on Wednesday evenings during hours of operation.

For those looking to help, tax-deductible donations can be sent directly to KRP at their location, 5815 Wise Road, Lansing, MI, 48910. Give them a call at 517-755-4174 or visit their website at Hours of operation are Wednesday from 6 pm until 8 pm. Visitors must arrive by at least 7:30 pm to have bikes repaired.