WRITER | LISA BECKER CAMPBELL
PHOTO | CYCLE-RE-CYCLE
Do you have a bicycle in your garage that you haven’t ridden in years? To tune it up this spring and ride it again would allow you to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.
But if that’s not your intention, you could give someone else that opportunity. Donate that bike to Cycle-Re-Cycle!
This nonprofit all-volunteer community bicycle shop in Benton Harbor accepts donations of bicycles, accessories, and parts in any condition. They then refurbish the bikes and make them available to the community. Bicycles not worth restoring go to a scrap metal recycler once all reusable parts have been harvested.
Since 2010, Cycle-Re-Cycle (C-R-C) has taken in an estimated 3,000 bicycles, including those recycled as scrap metal, thus keeping them all out of landfills.
And it has accomplished all of this through dedicated volunteers and sponsors, who plan an array of special events, fundraisers, programs, and workshops that celebrate cycling. C-R-C teaches basic maintenance skills and safety through interactive, hands-on classes and workshops for all ages.
A program offered for kids ages 12-17 is L’Earn-A-Bike. Attendees spend two hours per week for eight weeks in the shop learning bicycle maintenance and repair. And they get to pick out their own bike to rehabilitate and take home with them ― along with the newly learned skills to keep it tuned up.
Cycle-Re-Cycle’s store sells a wide variety of used bikes to fit all ages, sizes, and styles ― from mountain bikes to vintage models ― plus parts, tires, and accessories. Shoppers get great deals on refurbished bikes, and the nonprofit goes a step further and sells low-cost bicycles to people who use them as their only means of transportation.
C-R-C has partnered with the Michigan State Police and the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor to host Bike with a Cop events. Children ages 5-12 and their parents are invited to ride their bikes with troopers and participate in bike drills. Before the ride, a brief bicycle safety lesson is offered, and Cycle-Re-Cycle volunteers are available to assist with minor bike repairs.
Cycle-Re-Cycle’s main fundraiser is the Beer:30 ride each September. Visit C-R-C’s Facebook page for updates about current trail conditions, riding events, and other activities.
The History of Cycle-Re-Cycle
A 501(c)3 nonprofit, Cycle-Re-Cycle, began in 2010 when neighbors and avid cyclists Bob Havenga and Larry Prange started working on bikes in Havenga’s garage. Saddened by the number of cycles ending up in the trash and the lack of a local cycling community, the two decided to combine their cumulative cycling experience to create a space for recycling, repairing, and providing bikes to the Southwest Michigan region.
The nonprofit continues to improve the lives of residents by promoting bicycles and cycling throughout the community through advocacy and partnerships that change the way people think about cycling and explore how a bicycle can be a vehicle for positive social change. Partners include local companies, nonprofits, and other organizations who contribute ideas, volunteer power, and provide in-kind support to help them reach their goals and build a stronger community.