This year was indeed special. Last year the Rotarians set a goal of one bike a day for a year. Last time we checked that is 365 days, typically- so 365 bikes right? Well the Rotarians must be dyslexic (and that's quite okay) because they actually turned over 539 bikes to us in 2016.
By the first of the year, BfW was hearing rumors of well over 500 bikes already in storage...the same number of bikes we typically pack in a shipping container. So at a staff meeting Outreach Coordinator Yvette Hess asks Director Keith Oberg, "What is the feasibility of bringing a container directly into the barn where the Rotary club is storing bikes?" It was a long shot, but it beat moving all those bikes down to our warehouse...and at the time, we still didn't have our new warehouse figured out. That, and Keith LOVES this kind of challenge.
|Shane Sellers of Frederick Community College|
This time, that program was CESTA in El Salvador. And the loading was scheduled for Earth Day, the day of their annual collection, at Triangle Motors in Frederick.
|CESTA led bike ride in El Salvador|
CESTA director Richard Navarro had this to say about riding a bike, "the bicycle is a mechanism that does not consume oil, does not contaminate the environment, does not generate noxious gases that impact the ecosystem."
|Mackenzie Clark, Amber Meyers, and Dylan Wood|
But there was still a very active bike collection happening simultaneously. Thanks to May's BfW Featured Volunteer Sam Clingman, everything was moving along like a fine tuned drive train. Sam kept the volunteers in line prepping bikes and moving them to the container to be shipped to El Salvador. Donors got to see their bikes going directly into the shipment and the volunteers really got to see how and why the bike prepping is so important.
For the last four years, this collection has been stationed at Triangle Motors in Frederick. In the last four years the collection has yielded nearly 2,000 of the 3,000 total bikes collected over the last 12 years. It was the perfect place to celebrate their accomplishments with a container loading, despite the weather.
"It's Earth Day!" quipped back Richard Foot, the Rotarian who led the charge to take this collection to another level over two years ago.
"Well, this is pretty Earthy!" observed Tom.