ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Bikes are a large part of the Ithaca community, and Bike Walk Tompkins is trying to make bikes more accessible to those in need. They're taking donations of used bikes during the Refurb -A-Thon to fix them up and get them back in the hands of people to get around town. Twenty-five bikes have already been donated.

“As students are coming in, and people are being encouraged to bike during Cycle September, we wanted to make bikes accessible to folks, so we've asked our community to donate bikes for us to restore and refurbish them to either donate or resell back at a really low cost,” said, Niki Friske, interim director for Bike Walk Tompkins. 

The goal of Bike Walk Tompkins is to make getting around town easier. Along with other events around the year, like the popular “Streets Alive Ithaca”, the organization works to bring the joy of biking to the community. 

“Bikes are a really great way to get around, they bring joy, they improve your health, your social skills, you ride with your friends or family, but sometimes they can be expensive. So, we try to make them more accessible for everybody to get their hands on them,” added Friske. 

They not only make bikes accessible, but teach valuable knowledge about bikes. Volunteers can come in and learn how to maintain their bikes on open shop days, which are on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. 

“Its about also, for me at least, giving them the skills to maintain their bikes.  Its really about self sufficiency, and resilience.  Just giving someone a bike doesn't quite do that the same way as encouraging them to take agency and fixing it and maintain it,” said Greg Rothman, coordinator of Bike Walk Tompkins. 

More information on Bike Walk Tompkins can be found on their website, here.