Hanging out at the bike shop is always fun. A shared love a cycling gives any bike shop a unique sense of community....bringing all types of people, from all ages and backgrounds, together. It's a place where you feel welcome and accepted. I've always felt that sense of "community" and "belonging" at Gung Ho Bikes...which is one of the reasons why I was so excited to be welcomed as a part of the staff there this year. Working at the shop feels as if I'm giving back the the community...whether it's in the form of building a new bike a child's birthday present, tuning up someone's bike for a summer of riding, or teaching a customer how to fix a flat tire. I basically just feel good about sharing my love for cycling and the outdoors with people. But, last week, this sense of giving back to the local communty was taken to a whole new level for me.
|The staff of Gung Ho Bikes: Ryan, Penny, Jay, Jim, Clark, Ben, Dave, and Joel. -- December 5, 2018|
Last Tuesday, when I showed up for my evening shift, I helped Jay and Clark pull over two hundred used bicycles out of storage and carry them down to the shop level. These bikes (which had been donated to the shop over the course of the past twelve months) were about to get, some TLC from the staff at Gung Ho Bikes. The plan, conceived by Penny and Jay Zech, the owners of Gung Ho Bikes, was to convert as many of these bikes as possible back to riding condition so that they could then be...for lack of a better word...recycled back into the community for people who were in need of them.
|A sea of donated bikes, waiting to be fixed up, occupied the sales floor at Gung Ho Bikes last Tuesday and Wednesday. -- Decmeber 5, 2018|
|Ben and Clark fixing a couple of the donated bikes. -- December 5, 2018|
|Jim Seevers putting the finishing touches on this BMX bike. -- December 5, 2018|
|Ryan and Jay working out on the floor. -- December 5, 2018|
|The donated bikes ready to be picked by local charities in the community. Photo by Penny Zech. -- December 7, 2018|
Everyone on the staff showed up on Wednesday evening and donated their time to fix up the sea of bicycles that covered the floor of the bike shop. It was the first time, since I've been there, that all eight employees were there and working together...laughing, joking, and fueled by a lot pizza (thank you Penny & Jay.) I think what amazed me the most was how quickly and efficiently we were able to transform over 150 unwanted bicycles into what could end up being a child's first bike...or possibly transportation for an adult who needs a reliable way to work. For some people...just having a reliable bicycle is a game changer. I wasn't able to be there last Friday when all of the bikes that we worked on were lined up outside of the shop for local charities to pick up...but I didn't need to be to know that what the staff of Gung Ho Bikes did last week truly made a difference in the lives of a lot of people...and this holiday season, I'm so proud that I was able to be part of it.
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- December 14, 2018
|Jay, Ben, and Clark taking a pizza break. -- December 5, 2018|
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