Bike Swap Proceeds Help People without Transportation

A bike swap aimed to help one local community get around more easily.

The fifth annual Recycle a Bicycle Bike Swap wrapped up this afternoon in Traverse City.

People donated the bikes yesterday, and today many came out for test rides and maybe even purchase.

“We collect used bikes, we fix them up we give them away to the community members who need transportation,” said Swap Director Don Cunkle.

The Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation trails’ bike swap had hundreds of bikes to show and sell today.

They use the proceeds to help dis-advantaged families receive new, or repair their old, bicycles.

“Because I like to get outside as much as possible and I get tired of walking,” Traverse City resident Paula Neumier explained why she came bike-shopping. “So riding a bike is gonna be my next best thing.”

Cunkle has been collecting, repairing and helping distribute bikes to the Traverse City community since 2007.

One family came to give away bikes — eight of them.

“It’s getting rid of some stuff so we can maybe start parking in the garage again,” said Kyle Kraus. He donated bikes with this mother and sister.

Cunkle says it’s easy to forget the importance of having transportation when you’re so used to having it.

For many, it is not that simple.

“We stop at the laundry mat, we stop at the grocery store, we do a couple other things, visit somebody and make a nice round trip out of it and people who don’t have transportation to do the same thing could take a day, two days.”