ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While it’s been hard to find a new bike in a store since the pandemic hit, there’s one place in Albuquerque that has more bikes than usual. As people have been cleaning out their homes the past few months, they’ve been donating all kinds of bicycles at the city’s waste transfer stations.
“When the pandemic first started we were completely shut down, we weren’t doing classes or our open clinic hours and we were going several times a week to the different convenience centers to pick up bikes, we ended up kind of flooded, we ended up with an enormous amount of bikes,” said Ryan Harris the Lead Mechanic for Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center.
Harris said they collect bikes through donations and round them up at city facilities like the convenience centers. The Solid Waste Department sent us pictures showing just how many bikes they currently have at their three locations.
The workers at Esperanza refurbish the bikes to get them back out into the community. As we’ve shown you before the down-time during the pandemic has created a huge demand for bikes, so a lot of people are coming in for Esperanza’s “Earn a Bike” classes.
“It’s sky-high right now. My guys are flooded, we have a lot of demand right now so we’re giving away about 60 bikes a month at this point. An increase in demand and a decrease in supply. It’s made things difficult,” Harris said.
Lots of bikes are fixed up and ready to be used by people in the community. Of course, some abandoned bikes are beyond repair they get recycled.
The Solid Waste Department says since last July they’ve given just shy of 2,100 bikes to Esperanza. The three-hour Earn a Bike classes are free. Once complete attendees can take home a refurbished bike of their choice.