More Than 150 Bicycles Donated in Rochester Bike Drive

Posted at: 03/16/2013 9:30 PM
Updated at: 03/18/2013 10:21 AM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Some local people in need could be getting some new wheels thanks to a bike drive held in Rochester today.

The event was put on by the Olmsted County Youth Commission and bikes of all kinds were donated.

Joe Werre dropped off two bicycles for the bike drive Saturday afternoon.

"I thought I don't ride them anymore and someone else could enjoy them," said Werre.

While he may not ride them now, Joe and his wife have put many miles on those tires.

"When I retired we bought a conversion van and we bought the bikes at the same time that was in 1986 and we proceeded to travel the country," said Werre.

Travel the county is no overstatement.

"The bikes were ridden in every single state except for Hawaii," said Werre.

They pedaled in most parts of America as well as Canada, until his riding partner could no longer keep up.

"My wife died 5 years ago here now and at that point I stopped riding the bikes," said Werre.

Joes has mixed feelings about getting rid of the bikes, but says donating them is the best way to do it.

"She would I know enjoy somebody else riding the bikes," said Werre.

Many others gave away their bike for the same reason.

"Our recreational activities have changed and we're more than happy to recycle them like this,” said Delores Bloom of Rochester.

The donated bikes are going to the Rochester Community Bike Club, where kids will learn how to fix them up for those who need transportation.

"It’s a great way to take someone's trash and turn it into treasure and possibly teach someone a skill that could serve them well for a lifetime,” said Bloom.

"It’s a lot of essentially community building that we are doing here. We are making a stronger community bike by bike,” said Sara Fechtelkotter of Minnesota Green Corp.  

For Joe, these bikes hold special memories, but he says they're ready for a new home with someone who needs them.

"I just hope it gives somebody the same kind of joy we had to be able to ride the bikes," said Werre.

This is the first bike drive held in Rochester and it brought in more donations than expected. More than 150 bikes were given to the organization.