CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Re-Cyclery chair person, Dick Winters, will pick up bicycles from anywhere. Your garage. Your business. Even off the street. They all end up at Charlotte Re-Cyclery, a place to drop off, refurbish, and buy used bikes. The proceeds from the Re-Cyclery go to Trips for Kids Charlotte, an organization that gets underprivileged kids on mountain bikes.

“These kids don’t have the ability to get out to the area by themselves,” says Linda Walden, a volunteer at Trips for Kids. “They may not certainly not have a mountain bike if they do have a bike, and so it’s dependent on the teachers, the church groups, the youth groups.”

Good behavior in school earns the kids an opportunity to go on bike trips on the weekends, as part of the Trips for Kids ride program. The experience teaches responsibility and respect for the bicycles and nature but also empowers the kids for life.

“It gives you the confidence,” Linda says. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I just did that!’ and to see the look on their face like ‘Wow! I just went down that hill! It’s like, take that into your life. You did that, ‘Wow! I can ace this test!’ I don’t know. It’s gonna stretch. It’s gonna go beyond just riding a bike.”

The sale of these bikes helps to pay for these trips. Donations are always welcome.

“These are opportunities that many kids, or adults, might not have had, and by being able to sell them at a much-reduced price, we can get people into bicycling,” Dick says.