IU Surplus donates bicycles, parts to Bloomington Community Bike Project

It all started with an idea.

Todd Reid knew the growing pile of broken bicycles and bicycle parts wasn't benefiting his clientele at IU Surplus, so he began looking around for a way to make them more useful.

Todd Reid unloads a donated bicycle from a truckView print quality image
IU Surplus store manager Todd Reid unloads a donated bicycle from a truck at the Bloomington Community Bike Project shop. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

He'd been keeping an eye on the Bloomington Community Bike Project, a local nonprofit that recycles bicycles back into the community, and wondered if his growing collection of bikes and parts could help.

"When we took over handling the bikes from Parking Operations a couple of years ago, we started a little bike shop here. But we're so far out on the edge of campus that we weren't getting the demand I need, plus a lot of what we get are just parts bikes," Reid said. "So I sent a couple of employees to scout out the Bike Project back in April, and they came back and said, 'Everything we've got could really help them.'"

That led to last week's donation of a 14-foot box truck stuffed with broken bicycles and parts including rims, pedals and seats.

"Impact from partnerships like this reach further than the clients at the Bloomington Bike Project," said Makinzie Hoagland with the project. "With regular donations, our community bike project will likely have an inventory surplus. This will allow us to aid other communities’ efforts, to get and keep people moving on bikes, similar to our own."

Reid said this is just the first of many donations IU Surplus expects to make to the Bloomington Community Bike Project in the future.