LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Broke Spoke is a local Lexington non-profit with a purpose. The shop, located near the corner of West Sixth Street and Jefferson Street, is pedaling the joy of cycling by not only equipping people with bicycles, but also the skills to maintain them.
The shop's motto is, "better access to better bikes."
"We are here for the community, we want to help people, " volunteer Gary Huff explained.
Since 2010, Broke Spoke has been repairing, rebuilding and re-selling bikes, making them available to just about anyone.
"All the bikes we have are donated by the public, sometimes by shops, giving them new life, " Huff said.
Their mission serves many purposes. Broke Spoke helps the environment by encouraging others to use bikes to get around, they ease local landfills by recycling used bicycles, but most of all, Broke Spoke makes bikes available to those who may not be able to afford them otherwise. Huff explains, "the invisible cyclist, that person we don't think about, but this bike is their sole means of transportation, and we want to help them be able to maintain that bike and keep it up."
One way the shop does this is by offering a sweat equity program. Anyone can come in to the shop during open hours and work learning new skills and also earning a credit of $8.00 an hour to use toward a bike or parts.
"So we have many people who come here, who buy a bike and maintain it without ever having to use cash, " said Huff.
With just one part-time employee, the volunteers at Broke Spoke are true stewards of the bike community. They use their own time and knowledge to help others find the freedom of bike ownership by offering a hand up not a hand out.
"For that person to work through a repair or maintaining, " Huff said, "and discover that they can do it, discover that they can fix that flat tire they can adjust their brakes... it really gives them the confidence to take more steps."
Broke Spoke is located at 501 W. Sixth Street #130 in Lexington. Open shop hours are Sundays 12p.m. to 5p.m.
To donate your time, attend a volunteer orientation on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. To donate bikes or parts, stop by any open shop hours or drop them off at the Habitat Re-store on Southland Drive.