Welcome to our first Vendor Spotlight! This week we’re celebrating R Community Bikes and their wonderful contributions to the market.
Since its humble beginnings, R Community Bikes has been making a big impact in the Rochester Community! The organization repairs bikes for free, as well as gives them away to those in need, as long as they have been referred. For many, bikes are a means of transportation if they cannot afford bus fare or driving.
The group started in 2001, but didn’t become an official 501 C3 until 2008. 50 to 75 volunteers put in over 15,000 hours a year, and this past year they were able to give away over 2,700 bikes to community members in Rochester! All of the bikes that the organization gives away are donated. R Community Bikes holds bike drives to collect bikes, and they accept donations to their shop.
The shop is open 6 days per week, from 9am-1pm. Giveaways take place on Wednesday and Saturday, using a lottery system. As long as the person has received a letter of referral, they are eligible for a bike. This letter could come from a church, school, doctor, social worker, or any organization that can confirm they are in need. A community member is allowed 1 bike per year.
R Community Bikes is at the Westside market every Tuesday, St. Joseph’s house on Wednesday, and Ashbury Methodist Church on East Ave on Thursdays. People are helped in the order that they come in all locations. When speaking with Dan, one of the founders of R Community Bikes, he mentioned that they love being at the market every week, because it is a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere!