June 3, 2003 - Philly Burbs: Pedals for Progress sends unused bikes for the needy

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By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 6:05 pm: Edit Post

Pedals for Progress sends unused bikes for the needy

Read and comment on this story from the Philly Burbs on Pedals for Progress, an NGO founded by Former Ecuador Peace Corps volunteer David Schweidenback that has sent 65,771 bicycles to more than 20 countries since 1991 at:

Rotary seeks unused bikes for the needy*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Rotary seeks unused bikes for the needy


Burlington County Times

MEDFORD - The Medford-Vincentown Rotary hopes to collect hundreds of unwanted bicycles this weekend and then give them to a group that will distribute them to people in Third World countries.

The Rotary is asking area residents to donate old or unused bikes during its first-ever Pedals for Petals program. The bicycles will be collected from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Johnson's Corner Farm Market, which is located on the corner of Church and Hartford roads here.

Those who donate a bicycle, along with a suggested monetary contribution of $10, will receive flowers from Johnson's. The monetary donations will go toward shipping costs, as well as necessary repairs. The donations are tax deductible.

"I'd like to see 200 bikes come in," said Sam Capri, director of community services for the Medford-Vincentown Rotary. "That would be really spectacular."

The bicycles donated Saturday will be sent to Pedals for Progress. The international nonprofit organization ships refurbished bicycles to Third World countries, where they are sold at low cost to farmers, small businesses, students and others who have no means of transportation.

Former Peace Corps volunteer David Schweidenback founded Pedals for Progress in 1991, saying at bicycles can make a major difference in quality of life and productivity in Third World countries.

In the past 12 years, Pedals for Progress has shipped 65,771 bicycles to more than 20 countries. The group has an office in Cherry Hill and in Arling-ton, Va., and Takoma Park, Md.

Capri said the bikes should be in repairable condition.

There will be a number of bicycle mechanics on hand Saturday to make necessary repairs.

"We've never done something like this," Capri said. "When I met the fellow from Pedals for Progress and found out what it was about, I really was touched."

Email: pleakan@phillyBurbs.com
Pedals for Progress distributes 62,016 bicycles

Read and comment on this story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with more information on Pedals for Progress at:

Peddling a worthy cause*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Peddling a worthy cause

Group collecting used bicycles to send to people in struggling countries



Last Updated: April 6, 2003

Here's something to ponder during your annual spring cleaning: That Schwinn propped up against the snowblower - the one you vowed to ride every day - could change someone's life.

It could help a farmer in El Salvador carry his produce to market, a mother in Guatemala find food for her children or a boy in Fiji attend school.

In her time in Senegal as a Peace Corps volunteer in the early 1980s, Allegra Troiano saw how important a bicycle could be to the world's poor and put that lesson to use this year in organizing the first Pedals for Progress drive in the Milwaukee area.

Along with 20 other former Peace Corps volunteers, Troiano will be collecting used bicycles Thursday through Sunday at the Wheel & Sprocket Bike Expo at State Fair Park in West Allis.

The donated bikes will be shipped to the Pedals for Progress warehouse in High Bridge, N.J., refurbished and distributed to residents in developing countries in Latin America, Africa and the Pacific Islands.

Dave Schweidenback, another former Peace Corps volunteer, started Pedals for Progress 12 years ago, based on the conviction that a bike could change someone's life.

Schweidenback initially scavenged used bikes, then began an organized collection program about six years ago. Pedals for Progress has distributed 62,016 bicycles.

AnneMarie Rolls, an official with the group, said collections have increased roughly 10% each year, but the group has focused its efforts primarily in the Atlantic states because of transportation costs from other U.S. locations to New Jersey.

The collection here will be one of the group's most far-flung efforts, made possible by free shipping by Federal Express.

"It's a huge deal," Rolls said. "It's a whole new territory for us."

Troiano, who lives in Milwaukee, hopes to collect 200 to 300 bicycles. Rolls said 150 would be a success.

Chris Kegel, owner of Wheel & Sprocket, said he looked forward to getting back some of the thousands of bicycles sold at the expo. It's one of the largest bicycle retail events in the nation and puts roughly 2,000 new bikes on the street every year.

"The idea of getting bikes out of people's garages and basements and finding a good home for them has been something our customers talked to us about for years," Kegel said. "They can get that old bike out of the garage and treat themselves to something neat."

Not all of the clunkers and junkers in the basements and garages will be suitable for the Pedals for Progress effort. Rolls and Kegel said the bikes should be functional, with limited or no rust and reasonable quality.

"We primarily want a bike that people can use," Kegel said. "It doesn't have to be perfect, and we can do the minor stuff necessary, but we're just not looking for a 20-year-old Huffy."

Troiano and her fellow volunteers will be collecting bikes at the expo from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Donors are also asked to contribute $10 to help defray the overseas shipping costs and any repair work. The $10 contribution and the value of the donated bicycle are tax-deductible.

A version of this story appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on April 7, 2003.

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