Good for the Earth, good for the bike

Program does everything but welding to restore old bicycles, which are then given to people to encourage gasless transportation.

July 22, 2010|By Ashley Breeding,
  • Justin Gresh, Les Miklosy, Jill Richardson, and Mike Hoag in thier garage where they rescue donated bikes and put them back on the road.
Justin Gresh, Les Miklosy, Jill Richardson, and Mike… (Don Leach, Coastline…)

Two avid cyclists and members of Transition Laguna's Mobility Group are finding ways to make biking around town feasible for more Lagunans.

Residents Michael Hoag and Les Miklosy recently adopted the "bicycle recycle plan" from green cities around world; they repair and refurbish unwanted bikes and then donate them to people who want them.

"Our goal is to solve the transportation problem in a town that is automobile-centric," Miklosy said. "We are repairing these bikes to encourage people to ride them."

The pair, with the occasional help of Laguna Cyclery's Justin Gresch, said they can do "anything but welding" on old bicycles.

"We mostly grease [wheel] bearings and replace old brakes and chains," Miklosy said. "These parts are easy to locate at our local hardware and bike shops, so it usually takes only about a day to repair each bike."


So far they've collected a dozen donated bikes, and are asking other members of the community — an estimated 40% of households have at least one unused bike, they said — to donate it.

Miklosy and Hoag said they'd like to see Lagunans allocate four modes of transportation — cycling, walking, public transportation and private autos — the way many European cities do.

When you mix the way people get around, they said, it can reduce traffic and parking problems.

Another way they encourage people to cycle is by holding a community bike ride the third Saturday of each month for all ages, where they familiarize locals with back roads in Laguna that are safer to travel so they don't have to use their cars.

"By riding bikes and walking, we're also reducing smog, runoff and health (obesity) problems in addition to traffic congestion," Hoag said.

And of course, it requires no fossil fuel, which is the Mobility group's main objective.

"We'd like to see Laguna have a sustainable method of transportation before the year 2050," Miklosy said. "That's the ultimate goal."

How To Help

To make a donation or to inquire about a recycled bicycle, call Michael Hoag at (949) 494-5960.

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