Grand Rapids non-profit bike shop looking for 1,000 bike donations

Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 11:32:50-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A new campaign is underway in Grand Rapids to get bicycles to 1,000 people in just five months.

The program is organized by the non-profit bike shop "The Spoke Folks."  They're starting the campaign this year because in 2015 they ran out of bikes to sell to people.

"As a non-profit we have made a commitment to not buy new stuff," said Spoke Folks founder Jay Niewiek.  "Where a for profit can order new stuff when they run out, we don't have that option."

Niewiek founded Spoke Folks four years ago.  The shop fixes up donated bikes and parts and sells them at an affordable price to people.

Since they opened, the demand for bikes has grown, and they can't always keep up.

"Every year our sales continue to grow and grow.  Last year we sold 131 bikes," Niewiek said.  "We had no idea how much we really could have sold because we sold out in early June.

The shop is hoping to have 1,000 bikes  donated by Oct. 1.  So far, just 10 have been donated.

Niewick says they are not picky, and are even looking for spare bike parts.   If you think your bike is too old, think again.

"Because people are like 'I'm not sure if you really want to use this bike,' but that's generally the older bikes that have really solid quality frames that we get most excited about," Niewiek said.

For the next three Sundays, people can go to Brewery Vivant between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and get a free beer for donating a bike.

You can drop off any bikes at Spoke Folks: