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From tours to donations: How Inner City Space Travel uses bikes as vehicles for good

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Ben Schachtman
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WHQR
Dusty Casteen with one of the bikes used for tours of Wilmington.

Dusty Casteen is a local bike enthusiast who’s working hard to provide bikes for kids in the Cape Fear region. Five years ago, Dusty began fixing up abandoned bikes and giving them to the community. Roughly 2500 bikes later, his A Bike for Every Child program has expanded to include a bike tour business, Inner City Space Travel. The proceeds from each tour he gives equals one more bike for kids.

Although it’s a lot of work for one guy, Dusty prides himself on keeping the business small and local. “I don't see us getting much bigger man. We're grassroots. We don't want to be nationwide… In my opinion, the beauty of it is the relationships. And the more the bigger we get, the more diluted that's going to get.”

Dusty also provides a junior mechanic program where kids can learn how to repair bikes: “I mean, bikes are simple for the most part, and kids can grasp that. And it gives them such a good feeling of empowerment that they're like, ‘Hey, I fixed my mountain bike, my tube went flat. I was able to fix it and get riding again, all by myself, and that I think we need more of in the world.”

To learn more about the nonprofit, visit abikeforeverychild.org and to schedule a bike tour, go to innercityspacetravel.org