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How To Donate Your Bike and Give Back

If you want to donate a bike and give back to the cycling community this Giving Tuesday, or any time of year, then these are the organizations that need your support.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Guides

Bikes are the purveyors of joy, freedom, and health, and if you love cycling, you may be wondering how you can give back and bring the gift of cycling to your community. We think about this too! That’s why for Giving Tuesday, TPC is once again working with Wish for Wheels. Wish for Wheels provides students in Title I schools with new bikes, helmets, and team-building experiences. To support their mission, TPC is donating a new, fully assembled bike — built by TPC employees — for every bike sold on Giving Tuesday. Through this effort, TPC will guarantee the purchase and donation of 75 new bikes for elementary students translating into a $15,000 commitment to a healthier, brighter future for kids through bikes. If you like, you can also help out by donating directly to Wish for Wheels.

But how else can you give back? Many riders ask if it’s possible to donate their old bikes. Unfortunately, donating a bike isn’t as easy as calling your local NPR station for a pick up. You could drop your old bike off at your local donation center, but if you’re trying to donate a relatively nice bike, or you want your donation to directly support the cycling community, then Goodwill probably isn’t the right place to go. To donate a bike and positively impact your local cycling community, you’re going to have to do a bit of legwork. Here’s where you should look. 

Donate your bike to a local bike co-op

Bike co-op donationPhoto courtesy of Community Cycles

Bike cooperatives, or co-ops, are often the backbone of local cycling communities. Many are owned and managed by the cyclists that use their services, and most take the form of community bike shops that give riders access to affordable (usually pre-owned) bikes and components, bike repair, and cycling education.

If you’re not familiar with your local bike co-op, is the best place to start because it provides a list of co-ops in every state. From there, you’ll need to do some research to figure out if and when your local co-op takes bike donations, and what the stipulations are.

TPC’s local co-op is Community Cycles in Boulder, CO. Community Cycles will accept anything and everything bike-related, in any condition. Many donated bikes are repaired and sold in its retail shop to help support the local cycling community, the co-op's education and advocacy work, and programs that benefit low-income riders in the community. For bike lovers, this sort of donation is meaningful because it helps get more people in their community on bikes, which is always a good thing.

[button]FIND A BIKE CO-OP NEAR YOU[/button]

Donate your bike to a youth or high school cycling league

Donate bike to high school cycling leaguePhoto courtesy of Linda Guerrette / The Colorado League

Young people are the future, and school-aged cyclists are the riders who will help cycling continue to grow and flourish around the country. Many riders discover their passion through their local youth cycling league. 

NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) is the biggest non-profit organization supporting regional cycling leagues. Check out its list of NICA-affiliated leagues to see if there’s a cycling league in your state. Most need support through monetary donations and there are links provided to donate to individual leagues, but if you want to donate your bike, you’ll have to contact a director from the league (contact info is provided on the website) to find out if and when they are accepting bikes. In some cases, leagues will accept bike donations during certain times of the year (before the new school year for example) or they will direct you to a local individual or organization that will accept your donation.

If you don’t see your state represented in the NICA leagues, you may not have one near you, or you may have a local league that is unaffiliated. Colorado, for example, has its own independent Colorado High School Cycling League.

In many cases, youth cycling leagues need funds more than bikes, so often, this route doesn’t pan out. But if it does, it’s incredibly satisfying to support the future of the sport. 

Donate to a good cause that supports cycling

Sometimes, it’s easier to sell an old bike than give it away to a charity. As an alternative to donating your bike, consider donating directly to one of these great organizations that support people and cycling in the US and around the world.

[button]Wish for Wheels[/button]

[button]People for Bikes[/button]

[button]World Bicycle Relief[/button]

[button]Trips for Kids[/button]



[button]Gearing Up[/button]

[button]CYCLE Kids[/button]