Donations of gently used bicycles are sought for new Bike Connect program
Bridgewater, NJ – RideWise and Pops Bike Shop have launched a new bicycle rehabilitation program, BikeConnect, that repairs donated bicycles and gives them to adults who need reliable transportation for employment.
The program is a partnership between the two businesses, with RideWise soliciting bicycle donations and paying for the repairs made by Pops Bike Shop in Somerville. RideWise donates the repaired bicycles to adults who are referred to RideWise by nonprofit organizations in Somerset County.
The new program took shape over the winter when RideWise contacted Marc Cianfrone, owner of Pop’s, to pitch the idea. “I thought it was a great, worthwhile venture to work with RideWise on. We are always looking for ways to help the community, and it shows how bikes can be a transportation alternative.”
In addition to making repairs, the team at Pops outfits each bicycle with a bell and lights to comply with New Jersey biking laws, along with a helmet and bicycle lock. The bike recipients also receive instruction in cycling safety from RideWise as part of the donation.
“We are appealing to the community for donations of gently used adult-sized bikes to RideWise, which is a 501(c) (3) organization so that we can donate bicycles to as many adults as possible,” said Donna Allison, Executive Director. “The bike that is sitting in a garage or basement can make a big difference for someone who needs transportation for work.”
On Monday, July 19, RideWise donated its first repaired bicycle to Kevin Gray, a referral from Work First New Jersey, who will ride the bike to his job at Home Depot. Kevin was referred to RideWise by Maria Marnell, an instructor for Work First New Jersey, who thought a bicycle would give Kevin a more reliable transportation option for work.
RideWise is accepting bicycle donations by appointment only, Monday thru Friday. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 704-1011 ext. 11 to arrange a bicycle inspection and drop off.
RideWise Inc. is a Bridgewater-based nonprofit organization that promotes efficient and sustainable travel options. The agency partners with businesses, schools, nonprofits, and communities to address mobility issues through education and advocacy. Visit the agency’s website at www.ridewise.org
Pops Bike Shop is a local family-owned business with locations in Bound Brook and Somerville. Owner Marc Cianfrone has managed various bicycle shops in the area since 1984. Pop’s prides itself on meeting customers’ needs, ranging from family riders to commuters to cycling enthusiasts and racers. Visit the store website at www.popsbikeshop.com.