It was a Wheels4Refugees pickup blitz tonight. I've just started a new, full-time, regular-people-working-hours job, which is making it a little trickier to get around to pick up bikes but. . . people keep donating them. And I think I'm now the only person driving around to do pickups. So I work it out. Tonight, that meant emailing back and forth with three different donors and arranging to do a circuit, from Maitland and the Queensway to Sandy Hill to Alta Vista, picking bikes up and loading them onto an increasingly groaning bike rack.
First was that little blue bike. That was donated by Katie, who I think was maybe about ten or eleven years old, and her father Al. Her dad was out in front of the house with her and (I presume) her brother and sister when I got there, and he made a point of asking whether I knew who, specifically, was getting the bike (I didn't) for her, and bringing her along to help get the bike out of the garage and load it into the car. She told me it would be a "third-hand" bike now, since she got it second-hand in the first place.
Next I stopped off in Sandy Hill, where Peter unloaded two solid old bikes, and helped me get them onto the rack, then asked if I wanted one that was missing handlebars and seat. I said it could at least be used for parts, so we loaded it into the back of the car too.
Then it was off to Alta Vista, where Elaine and her husband were already waiting outside their house with a silver road bike, which just fit on the rack behind the other two, and I hitched it to the other two with a spare climbing sling and a carabiner. And then I drove very, very carefully home.
This is what the outside of a Suzuki Aerio with five bikes on and in it looks like:
Next, to get them to 350 Sparks. That will probably entail driving downtown in the morning and dropping them off before I go to work.
More donations are still needed! And if you want to volunteer to help pick up bikes, get in touch with them and let them know: they'll be happy to have you.