There is no question that Burlington is a very bicycle-friendly city. How friendly are the bikers, though?
Very. Bikers in Burlington have donated 2,000 bikes in the past nine years to people who need them to sustain their livelihoods in countries like Ghana, Uganda, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in collaboration with the organization Pedals For Progress.
Since 1991, Pedals For Progress has coordinated donation sites and drop off times – like the Lake Champlain Chocolates warehouse at 444 Pine Street on Saturday from 9am to 1pm - for folks to drop off their old bikes.
Whether they’re bikes that they’re not using, bikes their kids have grown out of or bikes replaced by newer models, they all can be donated. Since their establishment, Pedals For Progress has transported over 121,000 bikes from the Northeast to developing countries and people who could really use them.
It’s a wonderful way to recycle, but the benefits from this program are far greater than saving us a trip to the dump.
Each bike will go to someone who could really benefit from it – a man who can now commute to a job to put food on his family’s table. A rural doctor can see more patients and get to them a lot quicker in emergencies.
I’ll be one of the donors this year, happily dropping off my trusty old bike that has been with me since before I could drive. Since a new-to-me road bike is on its way for fall bike trips around Vermont, and I think it’s a good time to pass on my Ol’ Reliable to someone who would get more use out of it.
So if you have a bicycle that may be ready for a new home, stop by our warehouse on Saturday morning. The sight of hundreds of bikes generously donated is remarkable, but the feeling that you take away after giving your old bike to someone who really needs it, is just unbelievable.