Bikes for the World

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Battle of the Beltway: Shops

Bike Madness Begins...

Bikes for the World donates over 12,000 bikes annually to more than a dozen groups around the world. Ever wonder where all those bikes come from? Here's the break down from our spring source---in bracket form :)

So, we have some interesting pairings above. On the left side of your brackets we have a varying source of bikes, coming from our bike shop partners, recycling centers, universities, etc. You'll find some fun competitions to watch as our collection season plays out.

The powerhouses here are Spokes Etc. Bicycles (2,590 bikes overall) out of Virginia and Race Pace Bicycles (1,294 bikes overall) from Maryland. In 2015 Spokes collected 720 bikes for Bikes for the World while Race Pace collected 392. The thing to note here is financial donations, which help us complete the mission. Over the last 5 years both bike shops took in $11,000 each in donations for Bikes for the World, giving Race Pace a slight edge in performance. In fact last year, Race Pace met our goal of $10 per bike thanks in large part to the generosity of the shop which makes up the difference from donors.

Both Spokes Etc. and Race Pace have five locations convenient to their cyclists and all ten shops collect bikes on our behalf. In 2015 these two Independent Bike Dealers collected nearly half of the 2,501 bikes collected by our bike shop partners around the DC Metro region.

City Bikes (1,262 bikes overall) is right on the heels of Race Pace with only three locations. Last year it was a tight race between The Bike Lane (115 bikes in 2015), The Bike Rack (110 bikes in 2015) and Bikenetic (136 bikes in 2015) for those 4th and 5th slots.

Condos and apartments (298 bikes in 2015) make up a large part of our donated bikes and this sector is growing. They are looking to overtake our Police Department (345 bikes in 2015) donations in this calendar year. Residential units have a good jump on 2016, with over 100 bikes so far.

The strong #2 category remains recycling centers despite a drop from Montgomery County's Shady Grove facility in 2015, who now shares bikes among several local organizations. In 2015 the I-95 Landfill (465 bikes in 2015) overtook Shady Grove (205 bikes in 2015) and they came out strong in 2016 with over 50 already.

The rivalries between collection managers are much more fun to watch, but don't count out this side of your bracket. This sector of bikes accounts for over half the bikes collected annually by Bikes for the World. Bike shops also help supply needed parts and tires for many of the donated bikes that are in need of repair. Their support helps support tiny rural bike shops scattered in Africa and Central America.


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