Florida International University

MIAMI — The Tacolcy Bike and Safety Club hopes to collect donated tools for a program intended to teach Liberty City youth the fundamentals of bicycle maintenance and repair.

Founded last November and based at the Belfonte Tacolcy Center, the after-school club is open to boys and girls ages 9 to 12,  and offers free bicycles to members who complete 10, one-hour classes on bike safety and upkeep.

The club sponsored a community ride in January and another one last week.

Roger Horne, program coordinator and club founder, said he hopes enough members complete the course to open a shop this summer where they can make money by fixing bikes.

To make that happen, the club is seeking donations of patch kits, wrenches, chain tools, tire levers, repair stands and other equipment.

“I want them to know that there are more opportunities than what they see in their neighborhood,” Horne said.

Richard Page, a mechanic at Team Iguana Sports in Miami Beach, teaches bicycle repair to club members.  He’s been involved with bikes since working as a bicycle messenger in New York City after college.

“You can make a living,” he said. “A bike doesn’t have to be this big mystery.”

Horne said he hopes the two community rides will give the club the momentum it needs to keep going.

“We’ve never had a bike ride in Liberty City before,” Horne said.

For more information on the club, call the Tacolcy Center at 305-751-1295.

A donation “wish list” is online at http://tacolcybikeclub.wordpress.com/wish.