Give a little. Gain a lot.

I posted this elsewhere, but it made sense here too.

There are a lot of things that make me despair, not the least of which is that I just saw Paris Hilton responding to John McCain using her in a campaign add (HOW FUCKING FAR HAS THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM FALLEN? sorry, I've got myself under control again), but there are still a few things that renew my faith. One of those things, a tangible one anyway, is The Bozeman Bike Kitchen. It's not necessarily The Bike Kitchen itself, although for someone like myself there is a great deal of comfort in being surrounded by bikes and bike parts, but that's not really what The Kitchen is, that's just the building and all the physical crap that makes it work. What The Bike Kitchen is, and what makes me feel so good about it, is the people that show up every week; that's what makes it something that feeds my soul. I guess it shouldn't be surprising that people both detract from, and replace, my faith in humanity, but there it is nonetheless.

There's an eagerness, an excitement, a passion, you can see it in a person's face when they are there to help, they know they are doing something that will help someone else. Well that, and they love bikes; I only trust two types of people, those who love bikes, and dogs (I literally mean dogs, not people who like dogs). I've watched volunteers instantly connect with each other while scratching their heads over a problem. People who have never met, get their hands dirty together, and become friends before they really know each others' names. It's absolutely amazing. It's not just the volunteers though, there's profound relief in a person's eyes when you hand them a bike, and you can see that they're not worrying about how they're going to get to work any more. Don't get me started on what it feels like to hand a bike to a kid. I'm not sure which of the small details it is that makes me show up there tired and unfocused and leave there focused and hardly able to wait until next week, all I can quantify is that Tuesday night is always a good night, and a lot of my other nights aren't.

The bicycle may be the vehicle (pun intended), but it's the people that make it good. I guess, in retrospect, I shouldn't be surprised. One couldn't be surrounded by all that good and not feel good.

Don't get me wrong, we need help, and I'm asking for it. But, I also want other people to get a chance to experience this, it's good! If you've got a spare hour on Tuesday night, come down. We need your help, but I swear you'll get more out of helping us than you'll give.



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