April 26, 2010 | last updated May 29, 2012 6:58 pm

Pedals For Progress Sends Bicycles Abroad

Mission: To supply economic development aid by recycling bicycles and sewing machines in the U.S. and shipping them to the people of the developing world.

Background: Pedals for Progress was founded by Dave Schweidenback in 1991. In 2009, 6,652 bikes were collected and the organization's total just topped 125,000. We rescue bicycles destined for overburdened U.S. landfills and ship them to developing countries.

P4P bikes are put to work not only as basic transportation, but as a supplement to school and community programs. The bikes are adapted for use as trash haulers, produce trucks, taxis, and farm machinery.

When we can establish a program with an overseas partner, the bicycles take on an even greater significance. To keep the bikes working, maintenance is necessary. Children and adults are trained in bicycle maintenance and repair, and the bicycles are sold within the community, fostering the development of a local economy. If a person would like to have a bicycle but cannot pay for it, that person has to work for the shop (and learn a new skill) in order to cover the cost of the bicycle. P4P also arranges for the bicycle shops to have a supply of tools, parts, accessories, and lubricants for maintaining the bikes.

In the countries where P4P has an established partner program, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who use bicycles to get to work and deliver the goods and service where they are needed most, allowing them to expand their businesses and increase their personal incomes. Medical personnel in remote areas rely on the bicycle to get them to villages not accessible by roads.

Volunteer Needs: Donations. Volunteers to help at collection site on May 2 are welcome.

Holcomb Farm is located at 113 Simsbury Road, West Granby. Contact Jackie Johnson at (860)653-7758 for information prior to the collection.

CT Leadership:

Jackie Johnson, Collection Coordinator (volunteer)

International Operations:

Dave Schweidenback pdls4@comcast.net

Office Manager: Beverly Merchant bev@p4p.org

Webmaster: Reykha Bonilla webmaster@p4p.org

Contact Information:

Pedals for Progress, Granby Collection

113 Simsbury Road, West Granby, CT 06090



Jackie Johnson is the volunteer coordinator for Pedals for Progress in Connecticut.


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