Church to give away 20 used bicycles

Posted: Friday, May 02, 2003

Members of Resurrection Lutheran Church are hoping the clear weather stays for the weekend, when they plan to give away more than 20 bikes to needy Juneau residents.

"Our mission is to give bikes out to kids primarily, but because most of the bikes are donated and some of them are adult bikes, we're also including adults," said Jeff Hill, who is coordinating the bike giveaway for the church.

Community members and the Juneau Police Department donated the bikes to the church. Hill, who attended a bicycle mechanic training school in Oregon, fixed the bikes that needed fixing, and plans to give them all away starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the church, at 740 West 10th St. downtown. The bikes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, Hill said.

"If it's a good turnout, we don't imagine we'll be able to fit everybody with a bike," Hill said. "But we'll be developing a database and hopefully those folks who do not receive bikes, we'll contact them and fit them with one later."

Like Ernie Mueller, who is helping students at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School fix bikes, Hill retired last year and has spent his retirement fixing bikes.

"Working through the church, I decided I wanted to put my time to good use," he said.

Some of the bikes are brand new, some needed minor repairs, and some "needed some pretty major repairs, like cables and brakes," Hill said.

The smaller bikes will fit kids between 7 and 15 years old. Five adult bikes are in medium and larger sizes, Hill said.

In addition to bikes, church volunteers will give away helmets, Hill said. He acquired a highway safety grant through the state Department of Transportation that paid for a portion of the cost of the helmets.

"So we have approximately 50 helmets, and we'll be fitting those as well," he said. Low-income riders who already have a bike but no helmet are welcome to Saturday's giveaway.

Hill plans to teach a short bike safety course from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

"We'll go through the basics, talk about helmet fitting, reflectors ... arm signals and what side of the road to ride on," he said. "Also, I'll make my number available to them, because bikes break, and I plan to work with them to make the bikes last awhile."

For more information on donating bikes or helping with the giveaway, contact Hill at 789-9048.



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