Bikes for the World

Monday, February 4, 2013

Featured Volunteer: Nick Hein

2013 National Day of Service
Every year Bikes for the World likes to participate in Martin Luther King Day festivities by starting the year out with a container loading of bikes for one of our overseas partners. 2013 was no different, except given the added Inauguration event on Monday, we chose to load over the weekend instead. For this National Day of Service over two dozen volunteers came out to King Farm to help us load our first container of the year, destination: FINCA Costa Rica.

Jennifer Privell and Nick delivering bikes from Positive Spin
Then event also gave us the opportunity to say goodbye to one of our--oh, let's just say our BIGGEST WVA--supporters Nick Hein. Nick has been the Director of Morgantown WVA's Positive Spin. He is, however, as sandals in wintertime may suggest, moving on to the West Coast to pursue other interests.

Nick and Positive Spin have supported Bikes for the World for years, and before that donated bikes to our sister organization in Chicago, Working Bikes. Nick Hein can remember our Nick Colombo when he was at Working Bikes before coming to BfW.

Positive Spin offers classes in bicycle maintenance and repair, mentors teens in bicycle repair (and earning a bike through their efforts), solicits donations of unwanted bicycles, and reconditions and sells used bikes to the community at low prices. Morgantown is home to the University of West Virginia, and students, faculty, and other staff comprise a large part of the Positive Spin volunteer base and market for reconditioned bikes.

A common problem of community bike projects such as Positive Spin is that their donors and volunteers produce more bikes and spare parts than can be used (although the bikes tend to be of department-store quality and marginal condition, requiring too much skilled labor and time to make usable).

Nick Hein delivers bikes from Positive Spin to BfW in 2011
Beginning in 2008 (or so), Positive Spin has donated surplus bikes and spare parts meeting Bikes for the World standards. To get them from Morgantown to our storage site in Rockville MD, we have relied on a combination of transport arrangements -- volunteers with the Cumberland (MD) Rotary Club, and other various BfW volunteers with trucks (and generous hearts). Most recently, BfW shared the costs of truck rental to bring 80+ bikes and many boxes of parts (all loaded by Nick and Jennifer) to this National Day of Service loading.

We want to say thank you and good luck to Nick Hein for all his support over the years. We also want to recognize his valuable contribution to the cycling community of Morgantown. We hope that Positive Spin will continue to thrive in this community even after Nick moves on to explore other adventures out west.


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