Pedal it Forward / Courtesy photo
An organization that gives bicycles to locals who otherwise couldn’t afford them is hosting a “bike drive” this summer.
The group, called Pedal it Forward, is accepting gently used bikes of all sizes, new helmets, and monetary donations through the months of June and July to continue their mission “to empower and inspire people of all ages to lead active, healthy, and happy lives through cycling.”
The organization got its start in 2014 by a group of local cyclists who love riding, enjoy the beauty of NWA, and wanted to find a way to help everyone feel the joy and freedom that comes with having a bike.
Since then, they’ve been collecting, refurbishing, and distributing used bikes to children, veterans, and others in need of a way to get around and enjoy the extensive bicycle infrastructure we have here in the region.
Pedal It Forward operates two locations in the area, one in Bentonville and one in Rogers, that primarily works to restore, wash, assemble, and otherwise “fix-up” the bikes they receive through donations.
The organization then works with about 30 partner organizations, charities, non-profits, schools, and shelters to distribute the bikes based on need.
“We have a sophisticated ordering system where we don’t ask for a name, but we find out what type of bike they might be interested in, their height, their gender, and we’ll deliver a bike based on that persons profile,” Pedal It Forward co-founder David Tovey told us.
Tovey said they also occasionally hear from members of the public who fill out the same form.
“We do have a fair amount of people who contact us directly,” he said. “They fill out the form, we put it in our system, and we let them know when the bike is ready.”
In all, they’ve distributed more than 2,500 bikes to the community since they started a few years ago.
Those who are interested in donating to their cause this summer can drop off bikes at any First Security Bank location, or at the two Pedal It Forward locations in northwest Arkansas (3902 NW Wishing Spring Road in Bentonville, or 315 West Olive Street in Rogers.) First Security is also accepting monetary donations for the organization.
Tovey said the organization is also always seeking volunteers who’d like to come help repair bikes in the shop, assemble bikes, or even just clean them up at the shop. “Repeat” business is best, he said, because repairing the bikes does require some skill. No experience is necessary to get started helping out, though.
For more information about Pedal It Forward, visit their Facebook page.