The city of Columbus has long been in the forefront when it comes to promoting healthy lifestyles through physical activity.
This community abounds in miles of walking and biking paths and certainly takes a back seat to no one in staging events built around these activities.
There are obviously a significant number of people who utilize these assets. Just witness the traffic on those biking and walking trails, and the turnout for special events.
But local supporters of healthy lifestyles have gone beyond providing infrastructure and events. Typical of this outreach effort is a creative program adopted recently by members of the Columbus Bicycle Co-op.
In this case, an opportunity arose and volunteers with the local organization struck quickly.
Someone within the group saw an online advertisement for 50 heavy duty, adult-sized tricycles that had once been used at a Ford plans in Indianapolis. Officials had ended operations at the facility and were attempting to liquidate items that had been used in the day-to-day operations.
The 50 trikes, most of them heavily used and in need of serious refurbishment, were among the items offered for sale.
Volunteers were able to raise enough money through donations and a small loan to purchase the trikes. Honeymoon Hauling of Columbus agreed to transport them to the Co-op Center in the basement of the Bartholomew County United Way’s Doug Otto Center, where volunteers have been working to refurbish them.
Some will be sold but others are being made available to community members unable to afford them. There are caveats to that offer. Participants are required to complete a volunteer course and will then be able to work on restoring them with the assistance of Co-op members who are familiar with maintenance.
While participants will not pay for the bikes, their work on restoring them will represent a personal investment and provide them with a sense of true ownership.