It might now be the best day to break out your bike, but if you have a broken bike we have the answer. Whether you want to fix it for free or just get it out of your garage, a community project is riding to the rescue.
It's a project designed to encourage biking, give bikes to people who can't afford them, and keep busted bikes out of landfills.
Don't be fooled by the one little bike propped by the door because inside the building behind it, deep in a dimly lit basement, is a mountain of tires, chains, handlebars and pedals. Amidst the parts are the guys working to put them all back together again.
"People don't expect this huge pile of bikes," says Kyle Zander. "People who are cleaning out their garages where bikes are collecting rust and dust (can give them to us) and we're fixing them up and giving them to people who need bikes."
"Anything is accepted and appreciated," says Zac Barnes. "The best part is testing out the bike once you've really worked on a bike!"
Barnes and Zander are a part of E.C. Bikes, the informal group behind the Banbury Bike Project. It all started last fall when UW-Eau Claire donated a bunch of rusty bikes abandoned at the dorms. Six months later, the group has given out dozens to people who can't afford to buy their own.
"It's amazing to see what the community can do when we get together and work toward the same cause," Zander says.
The project has since turned into a community work shop of sorts; a place to fix a donated bike or use plenty of extra parts to get your own bike ready to ride.
"Come on down,” Zander says. “Bring tools if you got them. Bring a bike if you have one and we'll crank out some bikes together!”
The guys have a workshop this Saturday (3/14) from noon to 5 p.m. at Banbury Place in building 17 off of Galloway St. Everyone is welcome. They say they can always use extra tools--as a donation or just to use for the day.
For more information on some other upcoming events and how you can donate a bike CLICK HERE, e-mail EauClaireBikes@gmail.com or call Dan Green at (715) 497-7359.
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