Bike WheelWith the spirit of giving arguably highest this time of year, I’m reminded and always deeply moved by one of my favorite John Wooden quotes: “You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Here’s one way to have a perfect day: Donate a used bike, or bike parts, like wheels.

Whether for regular commuting or occasional recreation, most of us take for granted we have a bike. That’s not the case with everyone living in So Cal and it’s certainly not a certainty in Africa. Do you have an extra bike gathering dust somewhere that you don’t use? Know someone else—family or friend—with one?

Local volunteer-run organizations like the Bicycle Kitchen,, Bike Oven, Bikerowave, Valley Bikery, and, in Orange County, the Bicycle Tree, accept used bikes and bike parts, and provide space for learning how to build and/or repair a bike. The Bicycle Kitchen, for example, has a unique outreach program, Earn-a-Bike, geared to teens.

Globally, when your sole mode of transportation is your own two feet, a bike can make all the difference. Wheels of Change, a relatively new organization, ships used bikes (plus seats, wheels and helmets) from the U.S. to Africa, where they’re sold or rented at low cost (Schoolchildren and medical volunteers ride for free.).

Whether donating (a used bike) globally to Wheels of Change or giving one locally to one of our community bike organizations, you’ll be doing good and feeling good. What a perfect day!