A Dublin bike shop that has been refurbishing donated bicycles for Ukrainian refugees is due to hand over its 1,500th bicycle on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show on Friday night.
Paul McQuaid of River Cycles – beside the James Joyce bridge at Usher’s Island – has been receiving donations of old bikes since March, which he refurbishes and passes on to Ukrainians. He has a waiting list of about 400 adults and children.
The initiative has recently been formalised as a company, The Good Bike Project, with support from the Irish Red Cross and a number of companies, including logistics firm DPD, which is helping to deliver the good-as-new bicycles. Mr McQuaid has also set up a GoFundMe page where people can make donations to help fund the costs of repairs.
“Each bike costs approximately €100 to repair, with new brakes, chains, saddles often needed. We also give a helmet with every bike. We are asking for donations of money now as well as bikes so that we can buy more spare parts and employ mechanics, so we needed to put a more formal structure in place,” he said. “We’re at 1,500 now but our goal is to give away 2,500 bikes in the next 12 months.”
Mr McQuaid said he is still seeking more donated bikes and, particularly at this time year, bikes suitable for children.
“We have been focusing on getting a load of kids’ bikes ready for Christmas,” he said. [Engineering services company] Actavo is giving us the loan of a van next Monday and we are taking over 30 kids’ bikes to Letterfrack, Westport and Achill Island.”
He hopes to deliver more children’s bikes to Donegal later in the week. He said he is also experiencing a high demand for women’s bikes and plans to present two of these on The Late Late Show.