Our program is set up as a fully-equipped bicycle shop to receive donated bicycles from the public. We have a core group of dedicated and skilled volunteers that come in for a three-hour shift each week to repair and re-condition donated bikes which are then offered for sale for a reasonable $40. We sometimes increase the price on exceptional bikes that become available, but choose not to be overly aggressive so they remain affordable to our clientele. Many of our clientele need a reliable form of transportation but are experiencing poverty or homelessness. These bikes are accessible to our participants and the community at large.
Bike Me Up Niagara "BMUN" originated with Tony Venditti. He had a passion for the idea of affordable, reliable transportation for those experiencing poverty in our community and mentioned it to Wayne Schmidt while Wayne was working at Community Care. Wayne, BMUN's program coordinator, thought it sounded like a great idea but admittedly wasn’t thinking he would get involved. The more they talked about the need for BMUN, the more interested Wayne became. Tony V. made Wayne believe that if "[they] built it, they would come." The intent was to provide much needed transportation - as well as physical activity, good health, and ownership/care of their bikes.
Wayne and Tony travelled to Kitchener in April 2018 to review the setup of a similar shop in that city and then visited "Bikes for Farm Workers" in Virgil and the "Broken Spoke in the Port Colborne" high school to help determine design / supplies / operational requirements. We built out the garage at 203 Church ST. and opened in May 2018.
Bikes can be donated at the shop or we offer a pickup service on Thursday mornings from 9 – 12 for people that can’t transport them themselves.
We also offer training, mentoring, co-op placements, bicycle safety rodeos, and basic repairs. If you want to learn more about BMUN, feel free to call our office at (289)-438-3939 (ext. 209)
We accept all bicycles, no matter their condition, as we can usually find some value - either as a repair for resale, strip it for valuable parts for inventory, or as scrap (the frame) for a small return at the recyclers.
We enjoy generous support from the Fowler foundation, United Way, Segue Clinic and Dr. Fraser Mackay and Karen personally.
We have received two Rotary donations. We were given $1500 at a luncheon in the fall of 2019 and then were allowed to apply to their international fund last year and are in the process of spending an approved donation of over $9000.
We raised over $10,000 last year in sales and repairs.