Go Greener With Recycled Bikes

"I say, good sir, have you any penny farthings in stock?"
"I say, good sir, have you any penny farthings in stock?"
Riding a bike is good for your health and good for the environment. And now, it can be even better for your bottom line.

Randy Bond, a bike commuter and mostly self-taught gearhead, has opened up a shop in the Grove where he's got refurbished used bikes for sale at a fraction of what they'd cost new.

"I lived by Tower Grove Park and I saw people riding their bikes in the park and it came to me -- buy some bikes, fix 'em up and sell 'em!" Bond tells Daily RFT. He says he cruises thrift shops, yard sales and craigslist for high-end bikes that need a little TLC.

"We check all the bearings, the grease and lube, and clean them up," he says. "We go through and recondition them. If you don't have the cash to lay out $400, $500, $600 or more for a new bike, you can still buy a high-end bike at about a third of the cost."

Right now, for instance, he's got a men's fixie for $130, a women's Schwinn cruiser for $145, and a Peerless Extreme tandem mountain bike for $300. The shop will also offer repairs and a limited selection of new accessories.

Bond got into cycling when his eyesight got so bad that driving a car was no longer feasible, about two-and-a-half years ago. He's been a bike commuter ever since, and figured out bikes through trial and error, picking them apart, putting them back together and seeing what worked.

"If it's possible for them to commute in good weather by bike, I can't see why they wouldn't, just with the cost of gasoline and for health reasons," he says. And with increasing bike lanes in city traffic, people can feel safer pedaling to their destinations.

Check out the shop's opening reception, at 4130 Manchester Avenue, tomorrow from 4 to 7 p.m., and enter for a chance to win a free bike. And keep an eye on what's on offer at www.randysrecycledcycles.com.

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