Bikes for the World

Friday, May 11, 2012

Send In The Bikes

BfW space in Lorton Gymnasium
Lorton is ready. Bikes for the World staff and dedicated volunteers spent the week preparing our Lorton storage area for the big shipment of bikes expected this next week from Dick's Sporting Goods. I for one, have never seen the gym look this nice! The bikes are stacked and the floor is swept.

Word on the street is there are TONS of bikes heading this way from the week long promotion at DSG, with the first truck slated to arrive on Monday morning. The official total? 3,660! There's a total of about 8 trailers heading this way filled with bikes; have I mentioned we need help next week? Call the office for times (they vary from day to day, but we could get a truckload every day next week!). One load of bikes is actually going to our sister organization Working Bikes in Chicago who will help us load and ship more bikes overseas.

Meanwhile back at Lorton, we never stop. The loading for the Prisoners Support Organization in Uganda is underway. When I left, dedicated volunteers like Phil Ruth, Fred Schuyler, Bob Evans, and Peter Berty were hard at work rolling bikes onto the mostly empty trailer. You can see Phil here on the left with Keith packing the first row of bikes and filling in space with tiny bikes and tubes and parts.

Also never resting, are our bike collections. We have two tomorrow: one at Bishop O'Connell HS and one in Waldorf with Waldorf Kiwanis. So if you donate a bike at one of these two sites tomorrow there is a high chance it could end up in this trailer and be in Uganda Africa by next month!

Okay, to recap...we are busy packing about 500 bikes into the trailer above. Starting Monday, trailers will start arriving each carrying about 350 bikes, totalling maybe 10 truckloads. We need to unload these trucks in two hours or less and get ready for the next one. We will be separating and organizing these bikes as they come in so they are ready for the next loading at Lorton, which I feel compelled to point out will be long overdue by week's end when we refill the gym with over 3,000 bikes!

Phil Ruth
We are expecting a great crew of folks to come out and help...but there is always room for one more! And I hate to point out the obvious, but with Phil amongst our ranks, we have plenty of clowns! SEND IN THE BIKES! We. Are. Ready.

If you've never met this character Phil (only heard about him) you really need to come out this week to at least meet him. For years he has been representing BfW in Western Maryland. He's been supporting collections, picking up bikes at shops, pushing bikes in containers (yes, that's him sitting on his butt with the bikes, a huge smile on his face!), and even turning in our scrap metal for recycling.

 I heard a rumor (ugly, ugly rumor) he might be moving soon so I'm taking a second to give a shout out to one of our hardest working, most dedicated volunteers. If you've worked with him...you already know! Thanks Phil!!

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