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Help Send Much-Needed Bikes to Ukraine

By Siegfried Mortkowitz

Earlier this year, we wrote about cycling organizations involved in raising funds for Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion of their country. On this occasion, we want to call your attention to efforts to help Ukrainians trapped in the ongoing conflict by sending much-needed bicycles to the beleaguered country. Bicycles are vital for Ukrainians to get around because the Russian bombardment has left many roads impassible for cars.

This is especially true for cities that have been badly damaged, such as Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Sumy. Residents in those cities and others are badly handicapped by fully non-operational public transportation as well as a lack of fuel. For them, the bicycle is the only feasible mobility option, not only for personal journeys but also for the delivery of vital humanitarian aid and to enable staff of essential services to get to where they need to be.

Currently, there are two organizations working to send bikes to Ukraine. However, individuals can also work independently via U-Cycle, a part of the Kyiv Cyclist Association NGO. You can do this by purchasing bikes or simply donating your used two-wheelers and arranging to have them sent to U-Cycle in Ukraine. Or you can collect and repair used bicycles in your city and organize their transfer to Ukraine – and if you are a cycling enterprise, donate them. Or you can send money to U-Cycle by bank transfer to bank account number UA403052990000026001006209584, at CB PRIVATBANK Kyiv, with the bank code 305299, or via PayPal to nastia.makarenko7@gmail.com.

What you purchase depends on your donation:

  • €250 buys 1 new bicycle
  • €100 buys 1 used bicycle
  • €50 buys 1/2 of a used bicycle
  • €25 buys 1/4 of a used bicycle
  • €10 buys a cable lock for a bicycle

Other Ukrainian NGOs involved in the project are Eco Misto in Chernihiv, the Youth Association Extreme Style in Sumy, Urban Reform in Kharkiv, and Velo Vector in Odesa. For more information and to access the form that will enable you to help, open the English-language website of the Ukrainian #BikesforUkraine campaign site.

Another group working to get bicycles to Ukraine is the Danish organization Bikes4Ukraine. To fund its mission, the organization is asking for money via a GoFundMe campaign. In July 2022, it sent the first 100 bikes to the country from Denmark. The two-wheelers were distributed to six drop-off points in the cities of Lviv, Bucha and Chernihiv. Some bikes were dropped off at refugee camps while others were given to social workers and NGOs. They will be used to deliver food and medicine to people living in bombed-out areas who are unable to travel to nearby towns and cities because of the badly damaged mobility infrastructure.

Your donations to Bikes4Ukraine will pay for the transport and delivery of used bicycles to various Ukrainian cities and to defray the administrative costs of this not-for-profit organization. If you want to help, get on their website and hit the “Make a Donation” button.

We all love our bikes because riding them is fun, healthy and convenient. But in Ukraine, they can make the difference between life and death. By helping send bicycles to the country, you can make a difference too.