Legacy Project: Road to Discovery 2016: Charity for Charity

Author: Edward Gordon

Edward GordonEdward Gordon

There’s a lot that goes into organizing a bike ride. One of the key elements is, well, bikes. Not just any bikes will do of course. These bikes need to be able to handle a 350 mile bike ride in four days. With this in mind we decided to get creative and reach out to Marty Ogren, associate director of warehouse, delivery & transportation and coordinator of the ND “Old To Gold” sale. 

So many bikes, so little time

For those of you who don’t know it, the Old To Gold sale is an annual charity sale that takes all of the old furniture, clothing, appliances etc. that are donated or left behind by students at the end of each term and sells it for charity. The sale is traditionally held in the stadium and is notorious for filling said stadium with literally hundreds of abandoned or donated bikes. These bikes are typically pretty beat up, rusted and in need of some serious love and therefore just perfect for long distance rides . . .

Marty made a deal with us: We’d get to pick out bikes from their inventory and then fix, ride and return them free of charge. And so, on a cold and wet March morning one of the Road To Discovery organizers fought his way through a storage container of tightly packed bikes to find those precious diamonds in the rough. With the much needed help of a couple members of the ND transportation office several select bikes were shipped back to an organizer’s garage. All that was left was the simple task of repairing six partially destroyed bikes.  

Enter Pete Colan owner of Spin Zone. Pete kindly offered his assistance and use of his shop to bring our newly acquired bikes back to life. It’s not overstating the matter to say that without the help of Pete, the use of the shop and the tireless assistance of Spin Zone’s technicians we did not have a single hope of getting the bikes back on the road. With Spin Zone on our side, between assignments, thesis defenses and job interviews the bikes slowly but surely recovered to their former glory. 

There was a genuine moment of sadness as we walked out of Spin Zone. It wasn't just the end of drooling over space age bikes. Working on our humble bikes was rewarding, addictive and a heck of a lot of fun. We at the Road To Discovery owe Pete Colan and everyone at Spin Zone a great debt of gratitude. Help us give back by taking the time to head out to Spin Zone and check out their wares. After all, Pete insisted all parts were a donation so we’ll have to reimburse him somehow. Get it done Domers! Don't forget, there'll also be some choice bikes hiding lurking in the Old To Gold sale this year, bring your camping gear and beat the rush.