May is National Bike Month and is celebrated in communities from coast to coast. National Bike to Work Week is May 16-20, 2016 and National Bike to Work Day is May 20, 2016. Barnabas operates a local two-wheeled partnership, Adult Bikes for Barnabas (ABB,) that helps adults experiencing a financial crisis to obtain a bicycle for transportation for work purposes.
Adult Bikes for Barnabas was an idea brought to Barnabas by Mr. Phil Scanlan, local trails advocate and a coordinator of the Amelia Island Trail Team. The goal is to provide bicycle transportation to adults seeking jobs or to get to their workplace. Mr. Scanlan’s idea has worked well here due to close proximity of living, shopping and employment. Since April of 2011, 245 bikes have been provided to Barnabas participants.
The first step in the Adult Bikes for Barnabas process is to donate a used bike to the Fernandina Beach Cycling and Fitness Center on South 8th Street. Joel Beckam, owner, has been repairing bicycles since age 11, starting at a bike shop in Palatka. He came to Fernandina over 25 years ago and is still doing the work he loves, operating a retail bike shop and repairing bikes. Bicycles for the program are refurbished at a discounted rate and Joel donates the labor. Joel simply says, “I try to help others and enjoy seeing a program like ABB fulfilling a local need”. Joel reports that several people have even donated their bikes back to the program after obtaining employment and a car. The program continues to help Nassau County residents, thanks to the support of our generous citizens. Financial gifts for the bike program are also gratefully accepted at Barnabas Center.