11222570_436105633248788_7939529452762772396_nThis is a guest post from Joe Weitzel.

Early on Saturday morning, we ran out the front door and hopped on our bikes.   Mine was a twenty inch white Huffy that always had a clothes pin on the frame with a baseball card attached.  I would be a rich man now if all those Mickey Mantle cards weren’t ruined by my spokes.  Those were carefree days when all we had to worry about was the flat tires we got when we jumped the curb.  I had no clue how to fix a tire or adjust handlebars or tighten a chain.  Common Wheel of Lancaster filled a big void in the city when they renovated the old abandoned pump house in Reservoir Park to educate and foster bike riding in Lancaster.

Kids still love their bikes.   If you visit a school or a city park, the bikes are piled against each other or parked between the metal pipes of a bike rack.  How else do you get to the park to play basketball or street hockey?  Every day I would ride mine to Lafayette School field in the summer for pick up baseball games at the diamond along Hershey Ave.  We stayed till dark and used old flashlights for headlights that we taped on the handlebars.  And the friends that didn’t have wheels would ride double with someone else as the driver swerved home with their buddy on the carrier rack in the back.  We carried bats and gloves and balls all while riding double and trying to steer our way back to the neighborhood.

santa's spokes

Not everybody could afford a bike back then…and that hasn’t changed.  That’s why our group, Santa’s Spokes, is teaming up with Common Wheel  to give away as many bikes as we can December, 19, Saturday morning at Tellus360, from 11:30 to 1:30  This is a gift to the people we love most…the children of Lancaster.  Santa’s Spokes mission is just to give away bikes during the Christmas season to kids that need them.  Tellus360 is providing the venue and the community is invited for cookies and hot chocolate.  If you have a child or know of one that could take advantage of this opportunity, let us know by dropping a line to origbeatle@yahoo.com.    Or if you want to donate, just go online and help buy a bike for a kid.   Let’s put something under the tree for kids this year!

Join us this Sunday, November 29 for our Sunday Jam with Joe Weitzel from 2-5pm, which will also be a fundraiser for the Santa’s Spokes program.

Joe Weitzel is a lifelong resident of the county and is Lancaster’s Poet Laureate, as well as a regular patron of Tellus360.