Call

Blog

Law
02

Blog

A Bicycle Co-Op Offers Hope

Reimagining Downtown in Hogansville, Georgia

In the quaint downtown of Hogansville, Georgia, the memories of a once thriving economy are visible at every turn, from the old Opera House to the Royal Theater.   In this quiet corner of Troup County, south of the hustle and bustle of Newnan and the revitalized town of Senoia, Hogansville sits like a memory of an old southern town.   

Recently though, the arts community has discovered the beauty of this hidden gem.  Local artists have taken to Hogansville and have developed a creative enclave through the Pioneer Project revitalizing the community.  The old jailhouse now features the works of local artists and craftsmen. The energy in the town is palpable and has caught on with some young pioneers.  Still, there’s a void in terms of opportunities for young people to connect to anything meaningful outside of school.  

In a town full of kids lacking in opportunity and meaningful recreational and vocational outlets, enter the Abraham family, Alex, Emilee and their 2 small children. 

While working a full-time job, Alex saw the need to get kids in the community engaged in something positive, while also developing a useful set of life skills that would carry them forward as they grew up.  The Abrahams didn’t have prior experience in starting a non-profit or knew much about bicycles or bike repairs; but an encounter with a kid who bumped into the side of their truck while riding a bike with broken brakes sparked an idea.  From that vision came the Pedal Forward Community Bike Shop.

After spending a year operating at a local park dubbed “The Green Patch” 1 day a week, Pedal Forward moved into a previously abandoned old space in the heart of Main Street, expanding its operation and taking a major step forward towards fulfilling the mission of providing meaningful experiences for kids in and around Hogansville. Emilee shared, “we recognized the need that our community had for a physical safe space for the kids, a building for them to come to after school and on the weekends. But also, a place where they knew that they were seen and loved and that if something happened in their lives someone would see it and recognize that they weren’t alone.”

Pedal Forward’s vision is very clear:   a local, community bike shop designed to give kids an outlet for positive growth, friendships, developing leadership skills and a sense of belonging.   All the while, doing so in the context of a bike shop where kids who are willing to invest the time can earn themselves a free bike. The bikes are earned by investing time in the shop, learning basic mechanical skills, and by becoming responsible members of the community.    Along the way, the kids develop strong character traits that will hopefully serve them well as they grow up. 

With a similar concept to Bearings Bike Shop in Southwest Atlanta, Alex was hopeful that he could bring the same successful model to his small town.   While the challenges that the kids face in Hogansville might be somewhat distinct from those of kids in the heart of Atlanta, there are enough similarities to believe that the need was the same:  to provide kids with an opportunity to earn a bike through their volunteer work, and in the process, develop a meaningful connection to their community. 

All of those ideals were on display at the recent Grand Opening of the new space.  In the company of the Mayor, the head of the Troup County Chamber of Commerce, and with reporters from local newspapers in Lagrange and Newnan there to cover the story, Alex and Emilee cut the ribbon on their new downtown home.   In attendance were not just local dignitaries and business folk, but many of the kids who were already benefiting from the Pedal Forward program. You could see how proud they were to be associated with Pedal Forward, already benefitting from the sense of belonging to a community that cared for them.   Kids and families poured in, hungry for the opportunity to be part of what Pedal Forward has to offer. At the opening event, Jay (12) and Micah (12), who were among the first kids to join the program introduced themselves as ‘the most senior bike mechanics of Pedal Forward”. When asked what they want to do when they grow up, they said that their first job will be Pedal Forward. 

At Bike Law, we celebrate those who are helping to make the world a better place for anyone who enjoys riding a bike.   We salute our friends at Pedal Forward and are excited to see how they help empower the next generation. 

How you can help Pedal Forward: 

  • Volunteer! – In Emilee’s words, “we need good people to surround the kids on the nights that they are here in the building”. 
  • Drink more coffee! – Brent Anderson from Senoia Coffee & Café developed a specialty coffee roast named Gears & Grind with the proceeds going entirely to Pedal Forward.
  • Contribute financially! – Visit Pedal Forward’s website for additional information on their 2019 and 2020 budgets. https://www.pedalforwardhgvl.org

 

Comments

Is It Illegal to Ride Your Bike on the Sidewalk bikelaw
Peter Wilborn Aug 01, 2022

The laws dictating whether you can ride your bike on the sidewalk differ depending where you live. Different states have different laws on this matter, and local ordinances also vary. Let’s take a look at the legal framework behind various state laws related to cycling on sidewalks. The laws of sidewalk-riding can be very complicated […]

Read More
Ebike crash
Bruce Hagen Apr 26, 2022

DRIVER ON METH KILLS 17 YEAR OLD BICYCLIST, BARROW COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY REFUSES TO CHARGE DRIVER WITH FELONY.   On August 23, 2020, at approximately 8:40pm, 17-year old Obianuju Osuegbu was on her way home from her summer job working at a grocery store. She had earned enough money that summer to buy herself a […]

Read More
Stop as Yield
Brian Weiss Apr 25, 2022

Finally, “Stop As Yield” (the much sought after common sense traffic law for bicyclists) is coming to Colorado in 2022, likely July 1st.   Stop as Yield, aka the “Safety Stop” After the Governor Polis signs the law and the Safety Stop becomes effective, anyone who rides a bicycle or scooter on public roads will […]

Read More
Contributory Negligence
Ann Groninger Apr 25, 2022

It took losing at trial and a long appellate process, but it ended in a blow to contributory negligence in North Carolina. We just won an appeal on a bicycle crash case that happened in 2016 and came to us in 2018. The case went to trial during the spring of 2021. Our client was […]

Read More
Bike accident on sidewalk
Ann Groninger Mar 03, 2022

At Bike Law North Carolina, we’ve seen our share of collisions between bicyclists and motorists at sidewalk intersections. Two recent cases, one which we tried and lost and the other, which settled favorably to our client, highlight the challenges, especially in North Carolina and other pure contributory negligence states (Alabama, Virginia and Maryland).   The […]

Read More
WALLER CRASH
Rachael Maney Nov 08, 2021

WALLER 6 UPDATE: November 20, 2021 The teenage son of Jason and Jennifer Arnold, who, with their permission, was operating his parents’ F-250 diesel truck when he plowed into our 6 clients while they were riding their bicycles on September 25th, 2021 in Waller, Texas, was released to his parents on Thursday afternoon (11/18/21) after […]

Read More
Atlanta Bike Crash
Peter Wilborn Oct 25, 2021

Many of you have heard about the horrific multi-victim crash from October 7, 2021, in which a Chattanooga driver brutally plowed her car into a group of 5 pedestrians as they were crossing a street, causing catastrophic and life changing injuries. In the chaotic aftermath of running a red light and almost killing an entire […]

Read More
Waller Bike Crash Carnage
Rachael Maney Oct 02, 2021

PRESS RELEASE FROM BIKE LAW’S NATIONAL DIRECTOR RACHAEL MANEY In light of the recent Waller Bike Crash in Texas, and in an effort to help untangle and unpack some of the emotionally-charged comments, questions, and inaccurate assumptions being made, we want to update you on the parts that we can share. I hope that this […]

Read More
Brother James
Peter Wilborn Sep 29, 2021

23 years ago today, the world lost my brother Jim. He was killed on his bike by an under-aged driver who blew through a red light. While the years don’t really blunt the loss, they foster gratitude for the gifts left behind. My brother blessed me with so much, but 3 things stand out:   […]

Read More
Load More