All avid bicyclists collect gear over the years such as jerseys, bike seats, pedals, and more. Our gear clogs our houses and garages. Some of our old gear is still in good condition and would be welcomed by many other cyclists. But instead of donating it, we set it aside and forget it, or we throw it out.
This summer, round it up and donate it to someone or a group in need.
If your group or organization needs donated bicycles or bike gear, please email me at [email protected] and I will put your requests in a future blog post here.
I recently donated some of my used cycling gear – jerseys, pedals, seats, and bike racks – to the Ithaca High School Cycling Club, which has about 20 students participating in rides and hikes this school year, according to its faculty adviser, Armin Heurich, a library media specialist at the school.
Armin, also president of the Finger Lakes Cycling Club (FLCC), is making a difference in students’ lives, so keep the Ithaca High club in mind if you have items to donate.
He told me about one student, Marty, who has become an amazing success story through the high school club. The young man was riding a heavy, clunky hybrid bike two years ago, according to Armin, who convinced Marty to join the club’s AIDS Ride for Life team. Marty had so much fun that his father bought him a road bike, and Marty has improved as a bicyclist, “just crushing it on the hills,” Armin said.
Armin said this was just as significant: Marty went from being a shy person with a small circle of friends to being outgoing and having many friends, thanks to cycling and the club.
Willem, a senior soon to graduate and a club co-president, is finishing a class project with Armin that will create a collection of Ithaca-area bike routes with detailed analysis, photos, and narrative text. Willem and club co-president Madeline are also active in the FLCC, and several high school students have participated in FLCC-organized road races.
Armin makes an excellent point when he says that students should consider cycling clubs like his in order to develop a healthy routine of integrating outdoor recreation into their stressful weekly school routine.
“I reflect on the fact that when I was a kid, we used to play after school in the neighborhood,” he said. “These days, so many students are taking tough AP classes and are involved in so many more structured activities. It seems that unstructured play and recreation is a rare commodity these days, and I believe that it’s very important. There are inherent risks to cycling, and we’ve had some close calls, including a few falls, a scary endo, a crash into a tree, some minor scrapes and bruises, some touching of wheels, and our fair share of flat tires and a few snapped cables. I see every one of these opportunities as a teachable moment. Students always prove to be resilient, and parents prove to be understanding. Learning to participate in activities with an element of risk is an important part of the maturation process.”
I was touched to receive thank-you emails from the students who received my donated items. Here is a sampling of some of their emailed comments:
“I was able to get an amazing kit from your donation, and I know that all of the members of our club were incredibly grateful for your generous donation.” – Madeline
“I got a nice bike jersey, which I am very excited about wearing. It’s my first one. Thank you!” – Rowan
“I took home your old cleats and they seem to fit perfectly. Thank you so much for your donations.” – Johannes
“I just got into cycling in the last year and I really love it. I didn’t have any cycling jerseys and one of the jerseys you donated fit me perfectly. I will definitely be using it a lot. Thank you!” – Robin
“Your donations helped give our newer members a safer and more enjoyable cycling experience. I received the bike saddle and have noticed how much more comfortable it is than my old one. Thank you!” – Marty
Clear out your closets and garages and donate your used gear that is in good shape to a club or riding group near you.
For example, Armin said the school club needs jerseys, shorts, MTB shoes with SPD cleats, wedge bags, tubes, and 700c road tires, and any items would be greatly appreciated.
If you want to contact Armin, send email to [email protected].
Thank you for reading!