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For the Love of Bikes

Mike's Bikes is using bicycle donations to train entrepreneurs, create jobs and give African communities a new source of transportation.

Have an old bike you don’t ride anymore? Donate it to a good cause.

Bay Area retailer Mikes Bikes, which has a store in Petaluma, is collecting bicycles it will then ship to Africa through an innovative project the company launched five years ago.

Founded in 2007, the Sistershop Project identifies potential entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa, then provides them with seed capital, training and inventory to start their own bicycle shop.

Since launching, the project has collected thousands of bicycles, helped open bike shops in Ghana, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia, and given locals a source of transportation, jobs and a place to get their bikes fixed.

Check out the video on the right

“What we learned from other people involved in bike donations to Africa was when bikes get broken or flat, there was no shop or mechanic and the bikes would get left by the side of the road,” says Matt Adams, one of the owners of Mike’s Bikes.

Bikes can be dropped off year round at Mike’s Bikes, located at 264 Petaluma Blvd. North. For other Bay Area locations, visit mikesbikes.com

Know of a story that deserves our attention? Send a news tip to karina@patch.com

Darris April 24, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Fabulous!!! I have a bike that my son no longer uses. It's a nice custom bike that would be an awesome contribution! I have a friend who is helping to customize shipping containers for schools and office buildings and bringing them to Africa. They are currently building a school for the deaf. I love the creative thinking that brings such positive results. Great story Karina! Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention.
Tom Walsh April 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Great program. Nice job Mike's Bikes!

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