Hanging out with the Bike Guys and the Fox Valley Mountain Bikers
Thanks to everyone in the community who donated bikes or supplies to our community-wide bike drive! Because of your support we have more bikes than ever, ready to help individuals in our community move forward with their lives.
So what do you do next with 150+ bikes in various states of repair and disrepair??
You have a repair and scrap party!
On May 7, 2016, a group of 10 guys, a couple of teens, and one super cute young’un got together to go through each donated bike one by one. In one pile went the bikes that can be easily fixed up to be ready for Earn-A-Bike participants, in the other pile went all the bikes that were too junky to be saved in entirety, but still had some salvageable parts. Recycling down to the last level!
I rolled up on my bike about half way through the morning and immediately felt the warm, positive energy coming from the group. Riverview Gardens’ regular bike maintenance volunteers (The Bike Guys) were busy in the shop helping an Earn-A-Bike earner chose her bike, members from the Fox Valley Mountain Bikers were busy taking bikes on and off portable bike stands, stripping brakes, saddles, wheels, and shifters. Other volunteers were busy organizing the bikes that still needed to be evaluated as well as the bikes that were ready for Earn-A-Bike maintenance. Tunes were playing on the radio and coffee and donut holes kept volunteers with sustained energy throughout the morning.
I asked Matt Kletti, president of the Fox Valley Mountain Bikers, to fill me in a little more about the history and connection between their organization and Riverview Gardens, and why members of FVMTB were out here on Saturday volunteering their time. “Riverview Gardens has been unbelievably supportive of our organization and mission, and this is a chance to give back,” said Matt. The Fox Valley Mountain Bikers make up one of the four groups of the North East Wisconsin Trails collection, a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. They have current trail projects at Riverview Gardens and a new trail in the works at Prairie Hill. While their focus is mountain biking, an important aspect of the club is promoting bicycle advocacy in all its forms. “We want to show our support of the bike community and get more people on the road,” said Matt when I asked specifically about the crossover between FVMTB and the Earn-A-Bike program. “Maybe one day someone who earns a bike here will come out and ride with us. It all comes full circle.”
At the end of the morning I asked the Bike Guys what was the coolest bike that they found that day. By far the coolest was an old 1940’s Schwinn with a front fork lock, an old-fashioned dynamo, chrome head-light and cadet speedometer. Who knows if that bike will ever be earned out, but it is a neat part of bicycle history that has made its way here to Riverview Gardens.
Interested in earning a bike or donating one? Click here.
If you want to become involved with the Fox Valley Mountain Bikers, visit their website
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