Donate bikes to stop cycle of poverty

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Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
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Chris Neretlis (left), 68, Peter Moore, 67, Peter Lindeman, 62, Bruce Ralph, 69, and Arch Fraser (front), 79. These five men are among a group who meet weekly to repair bikes for the charity Bicycles For Humanity.
Camera IconChris Neretlis (left), 68, Peter Moore, 67, Peter Lindeman, 62, Bruce Ralph, 69, and Arch Fraser (front), 79. These five men are among a group who meet weekly to repair bikes for the charity Bicycles For Humanity. Credit: Adam Poulsen

A Geraldton charity worker is calling on people not to throw away their old, unwanted pushbikes this Christmas.

Peter Moore heads the local chapter of Bicycles for Humanity, a global charity that ships bikes to African countries to help impoverished people gain mobility.

Every Thursday, a small group meets at Mr Moore’s Wandina home to repair unloved bicycles, which they have sourced from rubbish tips since last year.

The spruced-up bikes are sent to Perth, before being shipped to community organisations abroad by Bicycles For Humanity WA.

When they arrive, the shipping containers remain in the country and become community workshops where bikes and parts are sold at a low price.

Since last year, Mr Moore and his handful of mostly retired helpers have fixed about 300 bikes.

“This year alone we’ve reconditioned about 200 bikes and sent them down to Perth,” he said.

“But we also donate to local charities that need pushbikes.”

Mr Moore said if anyone found themselves with a shiny new set of wheels at Christmas, they could donate their old ones to the charity.

The retired Australian Federal Police officer said bicycles were a vital form of transport in some areas. “They’ve got terrible roads. If they’re injured or sick and need to go to hospital, it takes so long to walk, but on a pushbike you can do it in a quarter of the time,” he said.

“We’ve also got racks and baskets on the bikes, so they can load up their cargo to take to market.”

He said the bikes were sold rather than given free, to encourage owners to take care of them.

“If you give someone a bike they get a flat tyre and throw it in the bush but if they have to pay for it, they’ll look after it,” he said.

“Some guys from Ghana told me that usually a family will chip in to buy one and they’ll all share it.”

To donate to the cause, call Mr Moore on 0427 509 067.

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