New coat for new use; Riverland students paint bikes for Red Bike program
Published 11:16 am Friday, February 12, 2016
It may not seem like it, but Riverland Community College students are painting their way toward spring.
Students in Jim Jensen’s collision repair program are hard at work painting bicycles red to to ready them for the expected April debut of Red Bike, a program that will feature about 60 bikes on 11 racks around town that people can ride and return.
“The community approached us about painting the bikes,” Jensen said. “It’s a great opportunity to give back.”
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In the early days of Red Bike, Vision 2020 Bike/Walk Trail Committee Chairman Steve Kime approached Riverland administrators about students helping out in the program.
“He contacted the president of RCC and brought it up to him and it went from there,” Jensen said.
Rydjor Bike Shop and Vision 2020 have been collecting donations of bikes and their goal is to get at least 60 bikes.
Rydjor then disassembles the bikes. That’s where Riverland comes in. The bikes are brought to the college to be painted red.
Riverland students have been painting about five to six bikes at a time since September.
Jensen said it fits into their curriculum as a collision repair class and the painting will be a part of their overall grade. Riverland is covering the cost of paint.
First year students Mario Baltazar and Erin Hernandez said it’s important to give back to the community.
“The community gives a lot to us,” Baltazar said. “It’s for the community and to support the community.”
Hernandez agreed, adding, “The community gives you a home.”
Baltazar said he’ll enjoy seeing the bikes around town.
“I take pride in my work,” he said. “It makes me happy and the customers happy. I’m glad to see a job well done.”
After Riverland paints the bikes, they’re returned to Rydjor for reassembly and final repairs.
Kime said the overall process is going smoothly so far and they haven’t run into any snags.
“It’s unbelievably great. There’s just so many parts of the community involved,” Kime said. “A lot of volunteers have stepped up. Rydjor has been supplying the necessary tools for repairs.”
A finished bike is displayed on Main Street in the window of Hill, Larson, Walth & Benda CPA agency. More will soon be on display at various locations in town, Kime said.