• 64°

Pedal Factory hopes to help those without bikes

Bikes for all

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post - Spare parts sit in boxes inside of The Pedal Factory's store on South Main Street in Salisbury.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – Spare parts sit in boxes inside of The Pedal Factory’s store on South Main Street in Salisbury.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post - Founders and board members of nonprofit The Pedal Factory pose for a picture Friday in front of their store on South Main Street.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – Founders and board members of nonprofit The Pedal Factory pose for a picture Friday in front of their store on South Main Street.

By Josh Bergeron 

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

Perhaps, it was a coincidence that brought Salisbury’s newest nonprofit to life. Or, maybe great minds think alike.

The Pedal Factory, located in downtown Salisbury, is a creation of members of the local bicycle community. It aims to provide bikes at no cost those who may not be able to afford his or her own. The Pedal Factory will give a bike to people who spend six to eight hours volunteering at its 218-B South Main St. store.

On Friday, the nonprofit held its grand opening. Today is The Pedal Factory’s first day of operation. It’ll be be open 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of every month. Cyclists can stop by to work on a bike and others can pick out a bicycle and begin his or her volunteer hours, said Rhonda Harrison, one of the nonprofit’s founders.

For those without enough money to purchase a bicycle, The Pedal Factory may be a method to obtain transportation, said co-founder Sharon Earnhardt.

“There’s no reason why all people can’t be cyclists,” Earnhardt said.

The Pedal Factory founders call the nonprofit a “community bike center.” However, it’s nearly identical to bike recycleries around the state. Earnhardt said multiple members of the founding group seemed to be thinking about forming a bike recyclery at the same time and decided to give the idea a shot in Salisbury.

Harrison says the nonprofit hopes it can be a location for those from Salisbury to Concord without a bike to obtain one and a regional place for cyclists to make repairs. She said the nonprofit has more than 90 bikes in various states of disrepair. Some may only require a part or two and an hour of work. Others may require significant work, she said.

Regardless of the bike’s condition, Harrison said aspiring cyclists may spend their volunteer hours working on his or her own bike, stripping parts from irreparable bikes or helping another person make repairs.

A person will be present at The Pedal Factory’s downtown store to help with repairs, she said.

Co-founder Todd Rosser said it’s relatively simple to fix a bike.

“If I can do it, anyone can do it,” Rosser joked. “Certain things might be complicated, but it’s not too bad.”

Harrison said the nonprofit will accept donations for visitors who need a place to make repairs on a bike he or she already owns.

She said members of the nonprofit have been asked numerous times whether they would compete with Skinny Wheels, a bike shop that sits two blocks away. In fact, Skinny Wheels owner Eric Phillips said he supports the nonprofit. It won’t compete with his business he said.

“I think it will do lots of good for the bike culture in Salisbury,” Phillips said. “It’s a good resource for people who can’t afford a bike and just need something to get around town on.”

Getting around Salisbury on a bicycle, however, remains a treacherous task in most places. The City Council has passed a plan that places interconnected bike lanes around Salisbury. “Sharrows” exist on some roads, but many of the planned bike lanes haven’t yet been finished.

Earnhardt and Harrison said increasing the number of bikes on the road may help bring more bike lanes to Salisbury. Motorists, however, also need to see bicycles as a normal part of traffic, Earnhardt said.

“Bicycles shouldn’t just be on the sidewalk or some trail on the side over there,” she said.

Harrison said the city council also contains members who agree that bike lanes are important.

For more information about The Pedal Factory, visit thepedalfactory.org.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

Comments

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes

News

Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting

News

Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%

Local

Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event

Crime

Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother

China Grove

China Grove firefighters injured after truck overturns

Business

Salisbury VA to reopen entry, exit gates

Crime

Sheriff’s Office looking for suspect in Burlington Coat Factory theft

Elections

Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan

Local

Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project