Are you considering biking as a form of alternative transportation? Are you looking for an affordable bike? Maybe you have a bicycle, but it is in need of some serious repairs, or you have a bike that is no longer used and would like to donate it? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, read past the break to find out more about the many bicycle rehab locations in New Jersey.
What is a bike rehab location?
Bicycle rehab facilities collect used bicycles or parts from discarded bicycles to be used for the repair or refurbishment of bicycles that have seen better days. The many rehab locations in New Jersey are an excellent source for getting your hands on a second-hand bicycle at a great price. In some cases, eligible recipients are able to obtain bicycles from these non-profit organizations for free, while some sell the refurbished bikes at a low-cost. Additionally, they are great places to learn about how to repair and maintain your bicycle as they often have all the tools necessary to make repairs, no matter how significant. Spare parts (e.g. tubes, chains, or tires) however, may need to be purchased in advance.
Where are the bicycle rehab locations?
There are eight bicycle rehab locations in New Jersey. While most locations operate in only one location, few actually serve multiple locations across the state. The services provided also vary at each location. Below, we will delve further into each of the locations to highlight where they are doing business and what services they provide.
Hudson TMA, accepts donated bicycles of all kinds. The bicycles are rehabilitated and then given to eligible recipients. Recipient eligibility is based on three criteria: the adult must want to use a bicycle as part of their commute, the distance and route must be appropriate for using a bicycle as part of the commute, and the applicant cannot afford to buy one. Local Community Action Programs (CAP) in Hudson County assists Hudson TMA in identifying suitable applicants. With each bicycle that is given out through the program the recipient also receives a helmet, a light, and a brief instruction in cycling safety. So far, one hundred bicycles have been distributed since the program began three years ago.
There are various ways Hudson TMA collects bikes from the public. Its parent company, the Hudson County Improvement Authority, hosts several recycling events throughout the County and accept bicycles from those willing to donate at the event. Donations of bicycles in good condition are always welcomed, where “good” condition can be described as a bicycle that includes a seat, has brakes, tires, and the frame is not bent or covered in rust. New and/or unused helmets or monetary donations are welcomed as well. Hudson TMA can also arrange for unwanted bicycles to be dropped off at various locations in Hudson County. Pick-ups can be arranged, but only if more than two bikes are being picked up from the same location. Contact information: 201-792-2825 or email@example.com
The New Brunswick Bike Library is run completely by volunteers and is equipped with a complete set of professional bicycle tools and used frames and parts.
The yearly membership fee is $25 and you get access to tools, workspace and assistance from mechanics during open hours. In lieu of the membership fee, one may volunteer their time at the Bike Library or donate a bicycle. For those who are interested in membership but do not have a bicycle, he/she can select from the many donated bicycles that need to be repaired and learn how to bring it back to a usable condition. Once repaired, the bicycle is yours to keep. The one caveat to this is that parts used, or help from the mechanics must be paid back with work trade, meaning you would need to volunteer your time at the NBBL.
Located at 154 Commercial Ave, New Brunswick, the Bike Library is open every day to its members, with mechanics available every Sunday afternoon.
Similar to the New Brunswick Bike Library, the Cyclab is a cooperative space for proper bike maintenance in Princeton. Their mission is to “empower the cycling community by providing hands-on education about bicycle repair and maintenance. In addition, the Cyclab aims to serve as a forum for the promotion of eco-conscious modes of transportation, exercise, and FUN!” Located at 130 University Place in Princeton, the Cyclab is open two days a week, from1-5pm on Sunday and 5-9pm on Wednesday. Throughout the year the Cyclab holds events that include workshops, group rides, and “bike parties”. For more information on Cyclab, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brick City Bicycles is a community-based bike shop and non-profit organization that supports cycling and cycling education in the greater Newark area. Going beyond being just a tool collective, where tools are made available to members, the bike shop provides hands-on education programs in its on-site classroom to both groups and individuals The shop offers two different ways for individuals to gain access to a bicycle. The “Earn-a-Bike” and “Build-a-Bike” programs allow for interested cyclists to purchase and repair old bicycles, or donate time to the center, working towards earning a bicycle via their volunteer efforts. Through both programs, valuable experience is gained by participants as they learn how to properly care for and maintain the bicycles they receive. To learn more about Brick City Bicycles, you can contact them at email@example.com
Second Life Bikes (formerly known as The Bike Church) is a biking community center in Asbury Park. It serves as a bike sales and repair shop where you can donate old bikes, or shop for a repurposed bike. The shop also serves as a hub in the community where cyclists can connect, build skills, join group bike rides, learn bike safety, and even create bike art. Second Life Bikes is located at 21 Main St, Asbury Park from 10am-5:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Donations, repairs, browsers, visitors and volunteers are all welcome during those times. Contact information: 732-776-6878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bike Exchange offers good quality and low-cost used bikes for all bike riders. All individuals working at the Exchange are volunteers. Volunteers spend their time collecting donated bikes, reconditioning them and selling them for a minimal fee. The Exchange has shops in Trenton, Plainfield and Newark. There are also plans to open a shop in New Brunswick. All money received from the sale of bikes goes to support the Boys & Girls Clubs’ after-school programs. For more information on how you can volunteer or get a bike, please visit www.bikeexchangenj.org or email them at info@BikeExchangeNJ.org.
Pedals for Progress has been receiving, processing and donating bicycles and parts to partner charities in 32 developing world countries since 1991. The organization aims to “supply economic development aid by recycling bicycles and sewing machines in the U.S. and shipping them to people of the developing world.” Going beyond the local aspect of the previous shops, “P4P” as it is often referred to, understands the importance of transportation in developing countries and how bicycles can provide basic transportation for those in need. While working closely with partner organizations in these countries, P4P aims to go beyond just distributing the bicycles, but also works within communities in these countries to teach proper bicycle maintenance and safety. It is their belief that the provision of bicycles will help to further stimulate local economies and create opportunities that would not have been there without them. P4P is continually collecting bicycles, so please check out their collection schedule at http://www.p4p.org. They currently have many locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To find out more about how you can help, please contact them at 908-638-4811 or via email at email@example.com.
Good Goes Around (GGA) helps recycle gently-used children’s bicycles for those less fortunate. As a non-profit program, GGA, pairs up local bike shops and social service agencies with those interested in donating bikes and volunteering their time. The organization follows a four step model where volunteers reach out to local bike shops, and arrange community collections to collect used bicycles. These bicycles are repaired and provided free of charge to children in need. In 2011, over 900 bicycles were collected throughout Essex, Hudson, and Westchester (NY) Counties and donated to organizations within those areas. Drop off locations in New Jersey include Millburn, Jersey City, and Pennington. One additional drop-off is located in Scarsdale, New York. As they are always interested in expanding their reach, Good Goes Around will assist interested individuals in starting up a local chapter. For more information on how to do this, please contact them at 973-629-1515 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While each of these organizations serves similar purposes, the different scales at which they operate show that bicycling isn’t just a local issue, but a global one. Through their efforts, bicycles are being provided at minimal cost to those who truly need or want to utilize them as a mode of transportation. Going beyond this, significant skills on how to properly maintain a bicycle are learned by those who participate. For more information on these bicycle rehab locations, please feel free to contact the NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center at email@example.com