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Cyclist groups refurbish donated bikes for families

Members of the Conyers-Rockdale Bike and Trail Coalition, Covington-Conyers Cycling Club work to refurbish donated bikes at C-Town BIkes during last year’s Christmas bike program collection. (Special photo)

Members of the Conyers-Rockdale Bike and Trail Coalition, Covington-Conyers Cycling Club work to refurbish donated bikes at C-Town BIkes during last year’s Christmas bike program collection. (Special photo)

CONYERS — A special gift will be distributed through the A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Boys & Girls Club in Conyers to needy families just in time for Christmas.

C-Town Bikes, Covington-Conyers Cycling Club (C4) and the Conyers-Rockdale Bike and Trail Coalition (CRBTC) are asking for donations of used bikes in reasonable condition to give families throughout the community.

Donations will be accepted at C-Town Bikes, 1927 Ga. Highway 138, through Friday, Dec. 13.

CRBTC Chairman Eddie Shirey said the group has been organizing this “recycle your bicycle” program for several years.

“You want to see everybody on a bicycle, it’s become out of reach for a lot of kids,” Shirey said. “For our group, we all grew up riding. On a bicycle when you’re a kid, you really expand your world from your own home and yard to the street and feel like you’re on your own, and it’s wonderful.”

Every year, the group gathers at C-Town Bikes to refurbish the old bikes. About 50 bikes were donated last year and 25 to 30 were transformed into working, safe bikes, said Jon Cheaves, C-Town Bikes manager.

“We help out however we can. The weeks prior to the event we stock up on basic repair items for kids’ bikes: tires, tubes, seats and more,” Cheaves said. “We do provide some tools, repair stands and advice when they ask for it, but for the most part, the C4 guys and gals know how to fix up a bike.”

The Covington-Conyers Cycling Club, known as “C4,” formed in the 1990s and boasts a membership of more than 400.

Aside from the Christmas bike program with the Boys & Girls Club, CRBTC also organizes the Olde Town Ride every fourth Sunday of the month, acts as the liaison to local elected officials and administrators about the needs of the biking and walking community; encourages all to make the community safer for cycling and walking; and teaches classes to new drivers about sharing the road with cyclists.