“You been riding your bike lately? It’s been nice outside. Riding bike is my therapy, man,” said one of our friends this week as a group sat in Patchwork’s front courtyard, drinking coffee and chatting.
There’s a lot that riding a bike can do. It can bring freedom and peace of mind. It can provide a way to get across town. It can help someone find a job or to keep one. It can allow someone who doesn’t own a car to control when and where they’re traveling and at a pace that’s faster than walking.
Access to safe, working bicycles to use for transportation is important for many people in our community, but for those living near Patchwork, access to parts, tools, and knowledgeable repairmen is difficult to find. That’s what makes Patchwork’s Bike Shop an important resource.
Pete Emery has coordinated our Bike Shop for many years. This week, he reports:
The Patchwork Bicycle Shop continues to be an urban volunteer ministry that refurbishes donated bicycles and provides them to people in the community who have no other transportation. We also provide repair services for bicycles that are brought into the shop with a problem or problems that make the bicycle unrideable, hard to ride, or unsafe to ride.
Repair service is provided 8:30-12 noon each Tuesday and Thursday morning, weather and shop resourcing permitting.
At 9 am on the first Tuesday morning of every month, refurbished bicycles are distributed to those in need of one. This means of distribution began in February when 18 bicycles were distributed to happy riders. Six bicycles were distributed in March. In both cases, everyone needing a bicycle got one.
On bicycle distribution days, those interested in a bike were asked to arrive before 9am to sign up for a bicycle. The signup list was used to determine the order of distribution. As such, the first person on the list was provided a choice of any of the available refurbished bicycles. Once a choice was made, the individual was asked to sign a waiver and was happily on their way. The next person on the list had the choice of the remaining bicycles, and so on. The shop remained open the balance of the morning for any needed or desired adjustments.
Although refurbished bicycles are now only available for distribution once a month, the process provides choice for our customers and eliminates the need to check on bicycle availability multiple times. It also provides more time for the mechanics to refurbish donated bicycles.
We have currently depleted our supply of donated bicycles to refurbish and are in need of new donations. We prefer bicycles in reasonable condition in sizes 24” and above. We do not refurbish smaller children’s bicycles and do not stock repair parts. Demand is primarily for adult-sized bicycles. If you have a bike to donate, please bring it to Patchwork Mon-Thurs between 9 am-11:45 am.
We are unable to provide accessories such as locks, lock cables, lights, etc. When a donated bike is equipped with such an accessory, it is passed on to the person who receives the bicycle.
We also depend on cash donations so repair parts and tools can be purchased, and we thank the Evansville Bicycle Club for their ongoing support.
We look forward to continued community support with this Bicycle Ministry!