When it comes to restoring, selling and giving away bikes, Peter Daly means business.
Mr Daly runs the ‘Recycle Bicycle’ program at St Stephen’s Uniting Church in Wodonga, which sells or gives away approximately 100 restored bikes a year.
The Recycle Bicycle shop maintains a stock of 40 to 50 bikes that range in price from $30 to $60 for adults and $5 to $20 for kids.
Mr Daly spends at least 10 to 20 hours a week restoring the bicycles, which range from balance bikes for young children to carbon fibre racers, which he sometimes sells to buyers in Melbourne or Canberra for up to $300.
“I flog bikes to anybody who will buy one,” Mr Daly said.
“This Christmas I am planning on going to the local Sunday market with bikes and trying to sell some there.”
Bikes are normally sold for half their market worth, with the proceeds going to the work of St Stephen’s.
“I’m looking to make sure the church is getting best value for what I am doing but also have something we are doing in the community,” Mr Daly said.
“If you ask me about bike 310 or 210, I could tell you what I put on the bike, how much I spent, how much the church made and if we gave it as a donation how much that donation was.”
The most costly repair items are tubes and tyres.
“My wife and I have maintained that cost personally, that’s our donation,” Mr Daly said.
Approximately 30 to 40 percent of the stock is given away.
While in the past the program relied on bikes donated mainly through the church’s op shop, Mr Daly has found a new source of supply.
Through another charity organisation he arranged for the local police to deliver unclaimed bikes four times a year.
“Some are ones that are just left somewhere and forgotten about, but quite a lot of them are from police raids on someone’s house,” Mr Daly said.
“They are retrieved stolen goods but the people who had the goods stolen have claimed insurance, so they can’t claim the bikes.”
The bike shop is open for donations or sales or by appointment, which means Mr Daly is constantly on call.
“I spent two hours last night with three recently-arrived refugee Congolese families who came in and got bikes,” he said.
Mr Daly provided three bikes to the agency supporting the family and also offered his expertise.
“We don’t just sell the bike to the people that come in, we try to fit them with a bike that’s suitable for them,” Mr Daly said.
“When the kids come in, if it’s brightly coloured they want that bike irrespective if it’s too big or small for them.”
Mr Daly, who is retired, said he has always had an interest in bikes.
He used to ride up to 60km a day until he was fitted with a pace maker and told to ‘back off’.
He still rides a bit though, to test out his bicycle repair jobs.
“I ride them all before they get sold except for the little ones I can’t get on,” he said.
“I don’t say I know everything but I know my way around a bike.”