Bikes for the World

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Top Shops

This month Bikes for the World would like to recognize our many shop partners who help give our donors a convenient location to drop off a bicycle year round...even when our community led collections are dormant.

In 2013 13% of our bike donations (about 2,000 bikes) came in through our local drop off points at our bike shop partners. We also worked with some of the same partners during our regular collection schedule to bring in another 500 bikes.

Race Pace Bicycles
Bikes for the World partners with 14 local shops in MD, VA, and DC all of whom collect bikes year round, issue receipts on our behalf, and store bikes until we can schedule a pick up. Some shops, like Race Pace Bicycles in Maryland and Spokes Etc. in Virginia collect at ALL of their locations and even transport the donated bikes to one shop so we can make one stop and collect about 60 bikes at a time. This makes scheduling our pick ups more efficient and helps us collect more bikes weekly.

Jan and Helen at Bikenetic
Many bike shops, especially in the DC area, are very cramped for space. Those who have warehouse space often have it off site from their actual bike shop, meaning any donations they take for us would need to be transported to another location and stored.

Some shops also save tires and parts for us, which can build up quickly, and as you can imagine mountain bike tires can really take up space. Our shop partners typically store these items for us for several months at a time. Donations to Bikes for the World require a significant commitment to space sharing by our shop partners, for which we are very grateful.

Many of the bikes coming to BfW through bike shops would otherwise end up in the local landfill or recycling bin. Once bike owners find out how much it would cost to repair an old bicycle some turn their attention to the sales floor. When they learn that their old bike could be helping someone live a better life it's often easier to part with their beloved bicycle.

The Mahleys donated two NEW bikes
In other cases, donors are drawn to the shops because they already know they want to donate a bike to Bikes for the World. It's not unusual to find a generous donor, especially around Christmastime, who will buy a brand new bike only to turn around and immediately donate it to BfW.

Last year the Mahleys brought two new Treks from Spokes Etc. that will be shipped out later this year. A mechanic from Race Pace bought and donated 10 new Kona bikes that were shipped to Kenya last year.

Dillard collection at Spokes Ashburn
Although our shop partners like to keep track of how many bikes they donate to us...Race Pace and City Bikes both donated over 500 bikes in the last three years and Spokes donated over 1,000...they are more than supportive of our community driven collections as well.

Some of our partners, like Pedal Pushers in Severna Park, host dedicated bike collections at their shops. All of our partners will help advertise another collection and sometimes give up their supply of bikes to help seed a local collection, like the Eagle project coming up at REI in Fairfax.

For a full list of our partnering shops and this month's BfW All-Stars visit our website.


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