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Bikes migrating south: Bikes Across Borders

Posted Dec 09 2011 7:28am

Free bike frames available. Just add wheels and they’re ready to go.

There is one catch. These bikes only travel in one direction: South. From Austin, Texas to south of the border into Mexico.

These are bikes on a mission. Their goal is to travel 230 miles, give or take, and make their final destination at the door steps of The Comité Fronterizo de Obrer@s (CFO: Border Committee of Workers). These bikes are donated to help those who defend human rights, justice and dignity in a harsh labor environment.

Who knew bicycles could do so much?

Bikes Across Borders (Bicis Tras Fronteras) uses their bicycles for solidarity and community every winter. The trip has been called a migration, just like the monarch butterflies migrate south every winter from Canada and the USA into warmer, sunnier places in Mexico.

I attended the general interest meeting for Bikes Across Borders (BAB) this past Wednesday at the Zaragoza Recreation Center off of East 7th Street. I’m interested in being apart of my fourth community bike tour with Bikes Across Borders.

However, Bikes Across Borders is so much more than a simple bike tour. Others at the meeting had this to say about their experiences as apart of the BAB:

“Riding a bike is powerful. Being closer to what is outside, not being in a box that is powered by gas.”

“I like to build bicycles, ride them to Mexico, and give them away.”

“You get to know people. Have them depend on you and you depend on them.”

“I like the accessibility to join the ride. You can decide the day before to go and be apart of the ride. No advance planning, training, or raising money to go.”

If this sounds like a ride for you, you have the chance to plan ahead and not decide to go the day before. The proposed departure date for this winter’s migration is tentatively set for Monday, January 2nd, 2012. The ride is to Piedras Negras, Mexico, and take about 7 to 8 days. And there is the possible extension to Acuna, Mexico, riding alongside border factory workers. The ride is at a comfortable pace of 20-40 miles a day. The pace is so comfortable actually, that some have chosen to join and “train” there legs during the ride. That is each day they build up more stamina and strength.

How do you get involved with Bikes Across Borders

On Thursday, December 15th at 6:30PM is a MEET & EAT, dinner/benefit/info session, ($5 suggested donation). Location is DirtNail Pedicab shop, 1508 East 4th Street, right across from the Saltillo Train Station off of 4th Street.

Or if that doesn’t work for you, Tuesday, December. 20th at 7:00pm is a DIY PANNIER MAKING WORKSHOP. Bring box cutters and markers. This free workshop is going to be at Dirtnail Pedicab shop too.

One of the easier DYI Panniers to make it out of kitty litter buckets. You can get free kitty litter buckets at Ecology Action located at 9th and I-35. This gives you an idea. Either way, you’ll also need the hardware to attach the panniers. Contact (512) 203-1339 or collier_evolution @yahoo.ie with questions.

DONATE A BIKE, COME WITH US! Because Mexico is more beautiful by bicycle.

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