Bike rescues rebounding in new normal after pandemic


Like so several other organizations, Money Location bicycle rescues had to hit the brakes when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived to town in 2020. Two community bike rescues I talked to recently have occur back in various means, adjusting to that dreaded “new ordinary.”

In Schenectady, immediately after being shut from March 2020 to April 2021, the Electric Metropolis Bike Rescue’s store on Jerry Street reopened, allowing for associates of the all-volunteer team to work on bikes that are then presented absent or “adopted” out. Due to the fact the area is so smaller, even though, the group is no more time allowing for group users to occur in to do the job on bikes. 

“We’re concentrated just on repairing the bikes that have been donated, mainly for giveaways,” stated David Davis, president of the Electric Metropolis Bicycle Rescue. 

The rescue, which has been about because 2014, applied to offer numerous selections for group members, like enabling people to come in, use resources, get assistance and maintenance their possess bicycle, or to make a bicycle by contributing volunteer hrs.

“We’ve been a minor bit more liberal and just give (bikes) out,” Davis claimed. “We experience like if folks are donating the bikes, they want us to get them back out on the road, so the ideal thing for us to do is just go through them, make them protected and dependable and give them away.”

To make up for the closed store, the rescue has scheduled quite a few “Fix-It Days” that just take volunteers out into group areas to supply assist with repairs at nearby functions. They were at the Greenmarket downtown this past Sunday and will be at Steinmetz Park for a Relatives Pleasurable Day on Aug. 13 and the Electric City Barn on Sept. 10. Neighborhood associates searching for a new journey can make an appointment to see bikes obtainable for “adoption” for a prompt donation. The rescue is also nevertheless operating its Freewheels application, which offers bikes at no cost to persons who have to have transportation to get the job done or college and are referred by a community organization.

At the Troy Bike Rescue, which was founded in 2001, organizers found new possibilities in the pandemic. Some of the variations they created for the reason that of COVID-19, these kinds of as instituting appointment instances for all site visitors, have worked out definitely nicely. 

The bike rescues in both of those Schenectady and Troy reported they don’t actually will need bicycle donations so significantly now – a large amount of people today cleaned out their garages all through the pandemic, and the rescues reaped the benefits – but volunteers and fiscal donations are normally welcome.

Uncover out far more about the Electric City Bike Rescue at

Master extra about the Troy Bike Rescue at

“It can get a minor chaotic, especially for the duration of the mid-summer months when tons of individuals are like, Ok, my bike’s broken, how am I heading to get this factor mounted for a value I can manage?” treasurer and volunteer mechanic Daniel Lander mentioned. The appointment situations assist to both equally place out the visitors, and enable men and women program their visits in progress.

Lander claimed customers experienced performed “visioning” in 2017 and 2018, talking about their hopes and objectives for the firm. So when the pandemic hit, resulting in a source chain lack and hence a shortage of bikes, the rescue was mentally completely ready to open up a next place on Third Street in downtown Troy to assist get more refurbished bikes out in the community. 

“We consider some of the bikes that are becoming donated, have a mechanic fix them up to a skilled typical, place on new elements as vital and offer them in the downtown zone, from mainly May well to October,” Lander explained. “They’re however extremely very well-priced in contrast to what you can buy new, if you can locate a bike at all.”

The earnings from the new gross sales shop are poured back again into the applications at the original locale on Sixth Avenue, which include having to pay for 3 workforce, a 1st for the historically volunteer business. The rescue also has two 16-12 months-olds doing work by way of Rensselaer County’s summer youth work software they are learning bike repairs and acting as mentors for younger young ones who appear in for the shop’s youth plan.  

Lander mentioned bicycle rescues participate in an critical job in meeting local community needs, but they also assist to deliver collectively people of distinctive revenue degrees, religious backgrounds and political beliefs.

“There’s a genuine philosophy of the bicycle remaining this nexus that allows individuals from seriously various walks of daily life to appear in and be all over every other and to help a person one more,” Lander reported. “There’s just this amazingness that transpires around a shared fascination and care about this easy device.”

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Jaime E. Love

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