The idea is original. The vision is great. The mission is to transform the community through ‘’the power of bikes.’’
Chris Caldwell took his passion for bikes into public sphere. He founded the organization called ‘’Common Wheel’’ to make difference in people’s lives. With him, biking is not only a cheap and accessible means of transportation for low-income individuals but also a bridge between all people and the community they live in.
Through an earn-a-bike program, youth and adult are encouraged to improve their lives through the power of bikes in Lancaster today. ‘’Through a voucher system and a small cost to the client, we are able to provide a refurbished bike, a helmet, a lock, and a light set to clients to help them get to work, get groceries, and have a form of transportation that is efficient and affordable.’’
Common Wheel partnered with organizations such as Church World Service, Tabor Community Services, and the Transitional Living Center, ‘’to be able to provide a greatly reduced bike package to those who need it the most.’’
In memory of his mother, Myriann Caldwell who fought cancer for a decade and lost the battle in 2014, Chris initiated in 2017 a Maryann Caldwell Holiday Bike Drive. ‘’At this event, we give elementary aged children in the School District of Lancaster a bike and helmet: a meaningful Christmas present that will continue to give long after the holiday season.’’
On Friday, May 4, 2018, a rub was cut by the city council Ismael Smith for the inauguration of a second ‘’Bike Shop’’ on 324 North Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603.
Chris Caldwell’s vision made it real for bikes to become a safe means of transportation and a bridge between different populations and cultures, beneficial to the City of Lancaster and beyond.