Photo by Jonathan McIntosh
Like the fellow in Africa who made his own bicycle-mounted radio and earns money taxiing villagers over unpaved roads, there are thousands of others who use, reuse, and innovate old bicycles as everyday transportation.
Photo by Basia Kruszewska
In many cases, their livelihoods depend on being mobile, and old bikes are the only way for them to get around. As more folks in the industrial world fall upon hard times, the same "keep it running" ethic that has kept old bikes rolling in so-called "developing" nations must be adopted here--not only for bicycles, but for everything we use every day.
Bicycle Repair Shop in La Antigua, Guatemala
It's time--past time, really--to unlearn the "newer is better" mentality so many of us have grown up with. If we're going to learn to do more with less (and we will most certainly have to), we're going to need to turn away from brand-new retail shops and toward our garages, local yard sales, and thrift shops. Just like most of the world already knows, there are a whole bunch of very serviceable old bicycles out there (and everything else) just waiting to be used again.