LAFAYETTE – The wheels are spinning on a Lafayette nonprofit, Bike Lafayette, that aims to provide bikes, otherwise destined for a landfill, and donate them to those in need.
Because of LCG’s “Debris Drop” program most recently on Saturday, they were able to collect more than 100 bikes.
“They asked if people dropped off bikes that we could put those to the side,” says LCG’s Environmental Quality Manager Bess Foret, “And of course we said yes. So we really didn’t know how many bikes we would be getting for this event.”
Bike Lafayette organizers hope this donation provides enough momentum that leads to the creation of the first “Bike Kitchen” in Acadiana, an all access brick and mortar bike shop.
Explains Bike Lafayette President Andre Angelle, “Instead of paying someone to repair your bike, there would be someone there willing to show you how to do it yourself…For free.”
Angelle is grateful for any and all donations, but he also hopes this helps remove the stigma that bikes are just for fun.
Says Angelle, “We want people to have more awareness of the fact that A: it can be used as a form of transportation; and B: there’s an unlimited supply of these forms of transportation for people in need.”
For LCG, a bike kitchen is a win-win scenario.
Adds Foret, “We’re really excited that not only are the bikes being diverted from a landfill, they’re being put to really good use in our community.”
While there are several steps that need to happen before the “Bike Kitchen” is built, once its completed, it could become a community necessity.
“I have a feeling that in a year’s time people will wonder how we didn’t have this before,” says Angelle.
A Lafayette “Bike Kitchen” wouldn’t just be the first bike kitchen in Acadiana, it would be only the second one in the entire state, with the only other one being in New Orleans.
If you are interested in donating a bicycle, bike parts or simply volunteer your time, you can visit Bike Lafayette’s Facebook page for more information.