Editor's note: Contact7 looks for tips and comments to help people in need, solve problems and empower the powerful. If you know of a community need that our call center could handle, or if your investigative team has an idea of what to do, please email us at
or call (720) 462-7777. Find more stories Contact7
DENVER – Spurred by a 25% increase in the cost of bike parts, largely because of the ongoing trade war with China, a local nonprofit bike shop is ringing the alarm.
"You'd be surprised that a small community bike store selling recycled products would be affected by something as vast, as vast and as international as a trade war," said Wendy Stewart, CEO. Lucky Bikes Re-cyclery and Executive Director of Trips for Kids. "But it affects our small budget and it will affect our children."
The non-profit bicycle store, located at 3150 W. Jewell Ave., rebuilds used bikes and sells them to the public.
Learn to Win a Bike Program
Stewart said that the money raised through these sales was used to help kids ride a bike, through the Learn to Win a Bike program, which teaches children 10 years and older the basic techniques to maintain the bike. bike and teach them how to ride safely in their urban neighborhoods. She added that it also provides disadvantaged youth with opportunities to learn and master their skills, including life and leadership skills, in a safe but stimulating environment.
Once the children have completed the course in several sessions, the graduates keep their bike and receive a helmet, a lock and a tool kit.
Youth Work Program
Stewart said the Youth @ Work program went even further.
The program specifically targets high school students who have no previous work experience.
"We hire participants as paid trainees, giving young people the opportunity to learn while making money," she said. "Through a combination of direct instruction, daily practice skills and regular feedback on performance, we enhance non-technical skills, life skills, professional ethics and leadership skills." participants and help young people build a solid foundation for their future success. "
Julian Cruz is one of the young people who work at the shop.
"A few months of learning in the program have really helped a lot and prevented me from getting off the street," he said.
The 17-year-old was busy repairing the brakes on Saturday.
"I'm trying to fix them so they do not rub against the ledge," he said. "The one is uneven with the other, so what I have to do is the same."
Cruz said that instead of choosing a bike, he built his own.
"When I built it, I felt like I could do more with life," he said. "I could help people with their bikes."
Sam Dale, the bike shop manager, said that he was winning the bike by building and working it.
"In fact, he is paying for this bike right now," he said.
Dale said Cruz was a great help in the shop.
"He has excellent communication skills," he said. "It's great to work with guests and with a key."
Dale said some kids participate in the program because they like bikes.
"They want to enter the industry and that's a great way to do it," he said. "Some kids are looking for a first job and that's where they can learn to feel confident, communicate and adopt a good work ethic."
Stewart said the two programs may need to be reduced.
"About 30 to 40 percent of our inventory – new bike parts, inner tubes, tires, helmets, anti-theft devices, for example – are from China," she said, adding that the higher fees charged to these products had resulted in a 25 percent increase in costs.
Stewart said that they had adjusted their 2019 budget to be ready for change.
When asked what the scale of the cuts might be, the CEO responded, "We have encrypted the numbers."
She provided the following statistics on the number of refurbished and sold bikes, the number of children who win a bike as part of the apprenticeship program, and the number of youth who work as trainees at the store.
Bicycles reconditioned and sold2018 – 1 0002019 – 750 (est.) Win a bike2018 – 2502019 – 215 (est) Young at work2018 – 202019 – 17 (est.)
Stewart said that she was trying to find a solution to prevent the children from feeling the cuts.
"We are working hard to ask our donors," she said. "We think outside the box with sponsors, I do not know, but we are always creative in finding different ways to serve our young people."
If the higher fares were not a headache enough, Stewart has another problem to settle.
On December 23, a thief apparently stole the trailer from the bike shop, which was loaded with 20 new bicycles.
"We use them for the summer season," she said.
Stewart said the security video shows that the trailer was taken around 3 am, but that the video was so dark that it did not show much of the vehicle used for the escape.
"The good news is that one of our donors bought a new video camera connected to an application," she said. "So with the new technology, we could have a better future."