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Bicycle clinic a success for Reynoldsburg church
Messenger photo by Christine Bryant
When Pastor David DeYanni started a bike clinic at Vineyard Community Church, he had no idea how successful the program would become.
Now, at any given time, a dozen bicycles rest outside one of the garages on the church’s property – some waiting repair, while others donated by community members.
“We had a few guys who know a lot about bicycles and they offered to do this as a community service,” he said. “So we just got together and planned how we could do it and then offered it, and it took off.”
Bicycle enthusiasts can find a wealth of resources at the bike clinic, held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the church, located at 15187 Palmer Road in Reynoldsburg.
The program offers everything from light bicycle repair to educational opportunities and will run through October.
“The clinic offers basic bike maintenance, repairs and safety checks for anyone who brings a bike to us, at no charge,” said John Conley, a senior mechanic and Vineyard member.
The program is sponsored by roll: Polaris, a local bike shop. Free bicycles also are given to those in need.
“We have been getting a lot support from our church members and the community,” DiYanni said. “We get bicycles donated throughout the month. This is our second year doing this and so far we have given away or repaired about 100 bicycles.”
He said volunteers enjoy helping a certain group in particular.
“We especially like to help out young children, since we have a lot of the small 20-inch bicycles to give away,” he said.
Services available include:
• Changing flat tires
• Replacing worn out and rusted chains
• Installing new brake and shifter cables
• Adjusting brakes and gears
• Truing wheels
• Replacing broken pedals
• Lubing chains and drivetrains
• Bicycle education
Conley added that the clinic is a valuable source to those who cannot afford expenses associated with cycling.
“Let's say someone goes to a local bike shop for their most basic tune-up and it turns out they have a flat tire and rusted chain that can’t be repaired,” he said. “It will cost $60 just for the tune-up, another $10 to $15 for a new tube to fix the flat and $20 for a chain. That’s at least $90 and doesn’t include anything else that might be needed or additional installation fees.
“There are people who cannot afford that and we have the ability to do those repairs at no charge,” he said.
Volunteers Wendy and Kevin Shaw said the clinic has a great community reach.
“Many people in the area use bicycles for transportation to work,” Kevin Shaw said. “Offering free bicycle repair service or a free bicycle really has an impact on people’s lives. It allows them to have the reliable transportation they need to stay employed and provide for their loved ones.”
Conley added that the program has been as rewarding to the volunteers as it has to the participants.
“At least once a month there’s a child who is so excited and smiling when they get a bike back that hasn’t been rideable for a long time,” he said. “That makes it all worthwhile."
For more information on the bike clinic, visit vineyard05.com.
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