In 1999 or so, a group of bike enthusiasts in Keene did what people all over the country were doing, it started a community bike program dubbed Green Bikes. They were college students, high schoolers and parents. Idealistically, they fixed and painted 20 or so bikes and left them around the city for people to borrow on the honor system.
Let me tell you how that worked out: Most of the bikes ended up in the river, repainted, stripped of parts or stomped and broken. By 2005, the Green Bikes program was languishing in a dark cellar at Keene State College. Since then, the program has had its ups and downs, but there are about 150 bikes in the fleet, with about 40 available at Keene State for borrowing.
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Marcus McCarroll writes from Keene.