ReCycles McKinney refurbishes used bicycles and provides them free of charge to those in need within Collin County.
Conversation with Randy Hancock.
Q: What does ReCycles McKinney do?
We are a 501(c)3 non profit that refurbishes used bicycles and provides them free of charge to those in need within Collin County. Our bicycle donations come from local bicycle shops, churches, schools, and individuals. Therefore, we stay true to our tag line – Local Donation for Local Need.
Q: When did it all start and who were the key players that got it rolling?
It started several years ago in conjunction with Cottonwood Creek’s Fun with the Son school supply giveaway. One of the members of the church suggested we repair bicycles on site during the event. We repaired maybe 50 bikes the first year. The second year, we repaired roughly 75, but also gave away a few bikes via a raffle that had been donated. The third year we repaired about the same number, but gave away 50 bikes. Since then, we focus on giving away bikes upon request or via The Garage Giveaway put on by 3e McKinney twice a year.
Q: How can the local community help?
We received a grant from McKinney Community Development Corporation(MCDC) that really helped get us started with tools. However, we can always use monetary donations for bicycle parts. In addition, we accept any bicycle to put toward the donation pool. If the bicycle is beyond repair, we salvage what we can and then take what’s left to a scrap metal yard. That prevents the bikes from ending up in the landfill and provides another revenue stream to purchase repair parts. We can also use experienced volunteers to help repair bikes. You can contact us on our website or Facebook page.
Q: What’s your most interesting bike donation story, or most interesting bike?
There have been several. We have received some vintage 70’s bikes that are all original that are pretty cool. We also tend to “modify” bikes when we have time. For instance, a Schwinn kids chopper may end up being a 13 gear cruiser – we are still working on that one.
Q: Any plans on holding bike clinics to help people learn how to fix their own bikes, or learn biking in general?
We partnered with the Young Men Service League of Allen and had training for Freshman and Sophomore boys. If we get the demand, we have some excellent bike mechanics that could put on more in-depth clinics. However, there’s nothing like hands on training and learning from some of the interesting items that come in.
We have also supported bike rodeos at local schools as well as in conjunction with the Collin County Court.
Q: Do you need volunteers? If so, what will they do?
Always. Volunteers will be responsible for repairing a bike – pretty simple. This could be anything from fixing a flat tire, replacing a chain, brake cables, etc. It varies, but the more challenging bikes are usually reserved for the more experienced mechanics. If you want to help and are concerned about your abilities, come on out and we will teach you the basics and we can go from there.