A bicycle shop about more than just bikes

A bicycle shop about more than just bikes

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KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange, or KVIBE, sits in a nondescript lot on Kamehameha IV Road in Kalihi.  Inside, the industrial space is filled with bicycle parts of all kinds. 

"It's a bike shop for the kids in the community.  It's an after school program they can come and learn about bikes" said the Program Coordinator, Marcos Bendana.

"The kids either fix them [the bicycles] up and restore them for themselves, or they fix them up and we sell them" he continued.

The nonprofit initiative was established in 2005, and since has had over 3000 bikes donated and reused.  Additionally, over 3 ½ tons of materials have been recycled or diverted from landfills.

However, that's just the start.

"We use the bikes as a way to recruit the boys" said Bendana.

KVIBE is about more than bicycles, it's about teaching life lessons, mentorship, trust, safety and healthy living.

"This shop is known to be a safe place, so it doesn't matter what ethnic group you belong to.  The kids in the community know they can come here and they're accepted, and there's not going to be problems. There's not going to be fights, there's not going to be any discrimination going on".

The positive pursuits have their rewards, rewards that keeps the cycle spinning.

"The kids earn a bike for free by doing a variety of things whether its community service, homework, helping other kids with bikes...or just doing something productive like getting good grades".

 

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