AURORA, Colo. -- Over the past ten years, Ernie Clark has been fixing and flipping bicycles for free.
“My friend began this whole process,” the retired New Jersey police officer said. “We began with about 50 bikes and now we are fixing and giving away more than 500 a year.”
Second Chance gets bikes donated from just about everywhere … from schools in Highlands Ranch to police agencies up and down the Front Range. They just use volunteers to fix the bikes before they give them away around Christmas and the start of school.
“My grand-baby was getting symptoms of diabetes when the doctor told her she needed to get exercising more. So I volunteered and won her a bike. She now has lost like 60 pounds and is diabetes-free,” said Charlotte Griffin.
Michelle Suratt teaches at an elementary school just up the street from Second Chance. She has given bikes to her students over the years.
“Some of these families may only have one bike per family—with all the kids sharing—but since working with Second Chance we now can give many more kids the freedom bikes can offer,” said Suratt.
The problem with the basement bike shop is they are losing their space and need a new shop to work out of. The dance studio above is moving and that will end their tenure in the building.
It means hundreds of bikes and parts must be relocated. Clark wants to stay in the same general area, where the need is great. He said not just kids rely on the bikes, but adults without driver’s licenses use them to get to work. The need is great.
He hopes the city sees the value in the work the volunteers do and can help him find a location nearby. He is even wondering if there is room near the hospital complex at Fitzsimons.
“We don’t’ need a ton of room, just somewhere to fix and flip used bikes.”
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