Free wheeling: City sets up bike bank

Coventry, Rhode Island, is getting bikes into the hands of those who want, or need, them.

>> Read more trending news

City leaders have set up what they call a Bike Bank.

It’s a shipping container full of donated bikes that can be given to people who want one for free, WJAR reported.

There are also bike racks and helmets available for the taking, The Kent County Daily Times reported.

The system was set up because there was a need from residents to get rid of used, but still usable, bikes.

“On a daily basis, people call us and ask us how they can get rid of an old bike,” Melissa Soares, Coventry Department of Public Works special duties clerk, told WJAR. “That made me start to think what we could do with all of these bikes that no one wants or maybe they grew out of.”

This isn’t the only free item swap the city runs.

It also has set up a furniture bank where people can donate gently-used furniture that anyone who needs something can visit to “shop for free,” the Daily Times reported when the bike bank opened.

The bike bank started last month and it is already full of bikes of all sizes.

“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,” Soares told WJAR. “This way, you can get something new and help someone.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

It also comes at a time when new bikes have been scarce due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Daily Times reported.

“In today’s market, bikes are not readily available,” Public Works Director Kevin McGee told the newspaper. “We’re trying to offer a service. If a child has outgrown their bike, they can bring their bike that’s in good condition and they can take a bike that fits them.”