• 63°

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

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’

Education

West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest

Local

YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training

Nation/World

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

News

As demand drops, Cooper visits vaccine clinic to urge usage

News

NC lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

News

N.C. bill banning Down syndrome abortions nears floor vote

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

Coronavirus

N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

Local

Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity

Local

Mocksville to dissolve police department

Crime

Blotter: May 5

Local

Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state

Local

Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman