Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pedal Pushers Wu Class, Inner-City Youth Build Odd Bicycles

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pedal Pushers Wu Class, Inner-City Youth Build Odd Bicycles

Article excerpt

Five mutant bicycles lumbered around a Washington University parking lot Wednesday afternoon, while some architecture undergraduates and inner-city children beamed at their inventions.

The bikes were the joint effort of a three-dimensional architectural design class and a nonprofit youth program called BicycleWORKS, a program that helps inner-city children between the ages of 9 and 14 learn vocational skills.

The architectural students designed the outlandish bicycles and the children helped build them, using parts recycled from 18 of the 2000-odd junk bikes BicycleWORKS has stored in a warehouse. "We came into this without a lot of bicycle experience," said Mara Baum, 19, a Washington University sophomore. "What (the children) did . . . was show us how to do the basic mechanics, like using a spoke wrench." The bikes looked like mechanical equivalents of a three-eyed frog. One had the rider reclining in a basket while pedaling a chain that was above the handlebars. …

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