The Golden Optimists of Arvada, CO have been refurbishing bicycles since the 1990’s. President of the organization, Howard Bagdad, stated that it can take anywhere from a couple minutes to several long hours to completely refurbish a bike.
The Golden Optimists are now partnering with the city of Arvada in giving hundreds of bicycles a second life with a new rider. Ted Rains, chair of the bike program, said that he started the club in 1990 with one beat up bike. Rains understands it can be difficult to get rid of an old bike, so he thought collecting bikes and donating them to a senior citizen center would be a great idea.
The senior center used a few of the bicycles, but unfortunately there wasn’t much of a need for them there because residents did not ride them very often. However, despite the seniors, people kept dropping off their old and unused bikes; Rains and Bagdad found themselves wondering what they could do with such a surplus.
The Golden Optimists decided they could give the bikes away, but realized they needed more space for storage and refurbishment. Raine said, “The Golden City Foundation bought a building for us at Heritage Square and we, as a club, assembled it. All of a sudden we had a home, and it’s been going ever since.”
The Optimists donate 200-250 refurbished bikes per year to metro area residents and even some in other states. This year, a number of bikes were given to students at the Colorado School of Mines. Bagdad said that the club never turns anything down, that the bikes can either be ridden or used for parts if they’re too old to function.
The main points of the program are to give bikes to people who can’t afford them, but also to impact the community in a healthy, active way. When you ride a bike you’re exercising and producing endorphins, helping out the environment by lessening traffic congestion, and chances are you’re having a fun time doing it. Anne Tully, Arvada Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator is working with the Jefferson County Public School Board of Health to encourage school-aged kids to ride a bike. Tully said, “It’s going to be a huge impact on our community.”
All bicycles are free to recipients, however the Golden Optimists do accept donations. Residents interested in donating or receiving a bicycle can email Anne Tully at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ted Rains at email@example.com and include their name, address, phone number, email, the number of bikes being donated, and if they would like a tax deduction form.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
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