Bike donation event Saturday will benefit West Africans |

Bike donation event Saturday will benefit West Africans

Village Bicycle Project sends bikes to Ghana, Sierra Leone

Jamie May, a volunteer with the Village Bicycle Project, is helping organize a bike drop-off event Saturday at Canyons Village. Parkites are asked to donate used bikes, which the nonprofit will send to West Africa.
Photo by Nan Chalat Noaker

Parkites who have a bike or two to spare can donate them to a good cause this weekend, as the Village Bicycle Project is holding a bike drop-off Saturday at the Canyons Village base area.

Village Bicycle Project coordinates bike donations in Utah for sustainable transportation projects in West Africa, specifically Ghana and Sierra Leone. Parkite Jamie May, who volunteers with the Seattle-based organization, said the sustainable transportation projects are particularly aimed at helping women and girls who are frequently marginalized and subject to limited access to bicycles. In addition, Village Bicycle Project aims to develop bike culture, which means setting up maintenance clinics and facilities to empower people to maintain their own bikes and build bikes into the fabric of their communities.

“This means encouraging bike transportation, bike recreation and even bike racing,” he said.

May said Park City struck the group as an ideal location to hold a drop-off event.

“The town is bike crazy, and I know there are a ton of perfect bike donation candidates scattered across garages all over the town and county,” he said. “Giving of ourselves to help people in places that are 5,000 miles away is something that I just know Parkites will rally around.”

The drop-off will be open for donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Canyons Village main parking lot by the Cabriolet Base. May said any style of bicycle is welcome, although mountain bikes are preferred.

“We accept all styles as long as they are in mostly working condition,” he said. “We prefer mountain bikes because of their durability and transferability across a number of applications. Older style hardtails that have fallen into disrepair but still function are kind of our bread and butter.”

May said the nonprofit would also appreciate a $20 donation along with the bikes, because the cost of shipping them to Africa is significant. It costs about $5,000 to ship a container of bikes, he said, and Village Bicycle Project needs to raise that money in addition to collecting the bikes themselves.

May said they would also accept other items like old bike parts in working condition, biking clothing and used bike tubes and tires.

“All of it helps us to set up the maintenance clinics that keep bikes in West Africa running,” he said.

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