Bikes for the World

Friday, September 5, 2014

Featured Volunteer: Carol Goodloe

As Bikes for the World gears up to celebrate our big 100k event, we've been looking back over the 100,000 bikes donated since 2005. Some of the same faces can be found on the other side of a pedal wrench whether it was eight years ago at Tysons or yesterday in Pentagon City.

Carol Goodloe is one of those volunteers who has been with Keith since before we've been Bikes for the World. She has assisted at collections, been a regular in almost ALL our warehouses, and has probably loaded containers for all our overseas partners over the years. This recognition is, as they say, long over due.

BfW Director Keith Oberg and Carol remember the story the same. I guess you could say it was a while back....they met in middle school. No, THEY weren't in middle school, but their sons were. And you may or may not know Keith's son just got married. Congratulations Alex Oberg and Carla Cevasco.

So, Keith went into Alex's middle school for a green/environmental fair and gave a talk on recycling bikes for donations overseas. He introduced this bike recycling program and Carol, whose son Hank attended the same school, was intrigued with the idea. Carol is an avid cyclist and thought it sounded like a great idea.

Over the years, Carol has helped load containers at Tysons, Springfield, Lorton, even Waterside Mall. She is now a regular at Pentagon City, sometimes popping in on volunteer night after a round of tennis. And during the grueling days of unloading DICK'S trucks, sometimes three in one day, Carol was there, wrench in hand. In fact, she processed so many handlebars those weeks, you probably had to pry it out of her hand.

Carol has the same smile, the same determination, same hard working spirit...perhaps a new she had when she started with us over a decade ago.

Since her retirement from the US Department of Agriculture, Carol has become more active with BfW.  Keith recognized from the beginning, "Carol intuitively understood the role that bicycles could play in transforming lives and communities overseas."

Carol spent a lot of time working with rural communities around the world and even living overseas. "She knows how valuable a commodity a bicycle is in our receiving countries, where labor to service the bikes is available and transportation is expensive."

"As a long-time biker, I loved the idea (of BfW) and helped out. I figured it was a great way to improve my upper body strength. Still working on that, though," jokes Carol.

Don't let her fool you. Carol will outlast any of our younger volunteers, hoisting the final bikes into a hot container any day of the week. She is afraid of no bike. Will not walk away from a challenge... okay maybe one or two, but she gives it all she has AND a dab of WD40!

She may leave volunteer night with a bunch of bikes corralled in a corner for Yvette to work on, upside down, one pedal off, handlebars half turned....but they are usually the 'super stuck' bikes; a loosely technical term fitting of 'Carol's Clunkers'. And often Yvette leaves defeated as well, pushing them over to Phil's corner for that bit of finesse that tames even the snarkiest bikes. A small trade secret, not even Carol knew about...until now.