“It’s a great feeling to help people get on two wheels.”
Mike Wilson, the co-owner of Grove Street Bicycles in downtown Jersey City, gets to feel great whenever the bike shop’s donation program is able to provide refurbished bikes to organizations, which in turn gets them in the hands of young and old riders.
On Dec. 22, Wilson was on hand to donate over 60 refurbished bikes to Good Goes Around, a non-profit organization that works with the Community Foodbank of New Jersey to distribute the donated bikes to needy children around North Jersey.
“This bike donation program is a good way to connect with our community.” – Mike Wilson
Wilson and his business partner, Rodney Morweiser, started the program in January of last year after a customer donated his old bike to the store when he came in to buy a new one.
Since then, Grove Street Bicycles, at 365 Grove St., has received 180 bicycles.
The first 60-odd bikes were donated in December. The rest are in storage slated for future donations to other organizations. Wilson said last week that he is meeting with the Boys and Girls Club in downtown Jersey City to donate bikes to their organization in the near future.
“This bike donation program is a good way to connect with our community,” Wilson said. “And we want to show that biking is easy to do.”
Turning old into new and useful
Wilson said the shop will accept any bike in any condition as long as it’s in its almost complete form. He said that once accepted, the bike will be evaluated to determine which repairs are needed. The bikes that cannot be refurbished will be utilized for their parts to fix other bikes.
The public has heard about the program through word of mouth, newspaper articles, and community events. The shop also provides an incentive for people to bring in their old bikes by offering a $25 credit toward the purchase of a new bike.
In the time program has been active, Wilson has had the opportunity to see reactions from some of those who have benefitted from getting a bike of their own.
“We’ve had one gentleman, who expressed his gratitude, since he actually used the bike he received to go back and forth for work,” Wilson said. “You meet some adults who have not been on a bike in years and get to relive their youth, and others who have never been on a bike before.”
Grove Street Bicycles plan to also host a fundraising event in the spring to raise money to purchase parts for the bikes they fix. The cost of parts and labor is provided gratis by the shop co-owners as well as their employees and other volunteers.
For more information about the program, call Grove Street Bicycles at (201) 451-2453 or visit the website: www.grovestreetbicycles.com
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at email@example.com.