The Co-Op, which is located at 601-E Merrimac Trail, is a collective of volunteers that refurbish and repurpose old bikes and then sells them to individuals based on ability to pay.
The project’s mission is to provide access to bicycles for youth and adults in the community who otherwise cannot afford them.
“This was the brain child of a few men and ladies that saw a need to have a bicycle shop that could provide bicycles at a very cheap price for folks that needed bicycles,” Will Ameen, a volunteer with Bicycle Co-Op, said. “These are all donated bicycles, and we refurbish them to make them safe, put reflectors on them, make sure they apply with state regulations.”
The volunteers receive the donated bicycles and refurbish them in order to make them into reliable transportation. After this, the volunteers mark the bicycles at bargain prices.
Around 50 to 60 percent of the bicycles are available for voucher clients, who are referred to the Co-Op by social service agencies, including Avalon Center, FISH, Inc., Williamsburg House of Mercy, James City County Social Services and Williamsburg Human Services.
“Many times, having a reliable bike is the difference between being employed or being unemployed,” Andy Ballentine, communications director of the Bicycle Co-Op of Williamsburg, said.