The Coventry, Rhode Island, community “Bike Bank” was a passion project for town special duties clerk Melissa Soares when she contacted Outback Storage about acquiring a used shipping container for the project. An avid biker herself, Ms. Soares wanted to share her joy of biking with her community and reduce waste in her community. The project aligned perfectly with Outback Storage Containers owner, Keith Tremblay’s love of mountain biking. Keith was an assistant coach in the New England High School Cycling Association for several years and enjoys supporting the biking community through trail clearing and cleanups and sponsoring a local youth cycling team.
Shipping container bike bank mirrors town furniture bank
The Coventry “Bike Bank” mirrors another successful town project called the “Furniture Bank” where community members can leave their used furniture and others may pick up the furniture for their own use. Both projects focus on reducing solid waste, reducing the town’s environmental footprint and providing a service for the community using a shipping container to warehouse the items.
The successful “Bike Bank” project allows families to leave a bike that a child has outgrown or they no longer use and pick up a new one. If someone is in need of a bike, there is no requirement to leave a bike. Donors have provided helmets and bike pumps as well to ensure everyone leaves with a safe bike.
Ms. Soares told WJAR Providence “I know personally, ask a cyclist, bikes are very expensive, and I feel like bikes, like when you have a kid, are like shoes. You buy them a pair of shoes, they grow out of it the next year. It’s the same thing with a bike. This way you can get something new and help someone.”
“I love seeing our customers use our containers for recycling projects,” said Outback Storage owner Keith Tremblay. “We were especially proud to see our containers used in the ‘Bike Bank’ project in Coventry as I have enjoyed riding bikes with my own children over the years, and it’s great to see other children getting the same opportunity.”
How to donate a bike and how to get a bike
To donate, have a bike picked up, or to shop for a bike from the “Bike Bank”, please call for an appointment at 401-822-9110. The town is looking for gently used bikes without many major mechanical defects.