A Lafayette group is working to refurbish bikes and give them a new purpose.
LCG partnered with a local non-profit called Bike Lafayette to collect disposed bikes during their Debris Drop Day on Saturday.
“I didn’t even anticipate two dozen, three dozen, from one day’s haul,” said Bike Lafayette’s president, Andre Angelle.
In just one day, they were able to collect 117 bikes and the number is still growing. As of Monday afternoon, the number was nearly 130.
“I want to live in a city that’s more bike-friendly and it’s not going to happen until people start riding bikes,” said Angelle.
The organization advocates for safer bike transportation, but they’ve created a new initiative. They will refurbish the bikes and donate them to people in the community who need them.
“We were excited because that means they won’t be thrown away, they’re not just rusting away in someone’s backyard, they’re really going to be able to be utilized by people in the community,” said LCG’s Environmental Quality director, Bess Foret.
The bikes in this pile range from old and rusted to relatively new.
“I know from experience this bike has never been ridden. It was just assembled in the store wrong,” said Angelle about one of the donated bikes.
At the moment, the group is still sorting through the pile. Those that are worth the repair will be fixed up and donated to people who need transportation.
A mission Angelle is passionate about.
“I was personally helped by a bike kitchen in Oakland, California when I lived there and I just saw firsthand how big of an impact transportation can be. When I moved back here, I saw so many people whose lives would be changed by a bicycle and I saw so many bicycles just rusting in people’s garages,” he said.
Those not worth getting fixed up will be stripped and sold for parts, so they can buy the tools they need and still recycle the materials.
“It’s really good for the environment that we’re saving things from especially being dumped on the side of the road, going to the landfill but also it’s a benefit socially for our community as well,” said the environmental quality director.
Bike Lafayette’s goal is to ultimately open a bike kitchen, where people can learn how to fix their own bikes.
“We don’t want to fix bikes for people, we know what it takes to fix bikes, but it’s kind of like that teach a man to fish category. We want to teach people what they need to know to keep their bikes rolling,” Angelle said.
If you have a bike lying around that you’d like to donate, you can contact Bike Lafayette.
They hope to have their bike drop-off location open on Simcoe in the next month or so, but in the meantime are looking for a space to store them.