Although Saturday 27th of June was a little gloomy from the weather's point of view, a group of Rotarians from The Rotary Clubs of Pinjarra (11 members) and Mandurah Districts (4 members) gathered at a farmshed in East Coolup to sort through a large number of donated bicycles.

Bicycles for Humanity Western Australia (B4HWA) is part of an exciting global volunteer-run, non-profit organisation that uses donated bicycles to help alleviate poverty through sustainable transport. Every year around 1.5 million bikes are sold across Australia – about around half of these will end up unused or abandoned. B4HWA puts this huge potential resource to work in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Bicycles for Humanity International (B4H) is a world wide, grass roots, volunteer run organisation focused on simple, sustainable empowerment in the developing world. This is achieved in the most transparent and practical way – by sending used donated bikes from the developed world to our partner organisations in various countries where there is a need.
A bike will allow someone to travel twice as far, twice as fast and to carry four times the load compared to what may be carried while on foot. In the countries in which B4HWA works, a bike can mean access to education, health care, fresh water, economic opportunity and community. Breaking the cycle of poverty by providing sustainable transport for one person, impacts not only their life, but also the lives of their families, communities and future generations.
Now a team of part time volunteers (including the Pinjarra and Mandurah Districts Rotary Clubs) is working in Perth collecting bikes, preparing them for shipment, packing them in containers, raising much needed funding for container and shipping costs, AND having fun doing it. B4HWA shipped its first container of bikes to Namibia in October 2011. The team has set itself a goal of dispatching 2 shipments per year, thereafter.
Locally, in the Peel region of Western Australia, the Rotary Clubs of Pinjarra and Mandurah Districts have combined with the Pinjarra Community Men's Shed Group to collect, sort, repair and prepare donated bicycles for transport to B4HWA's depot in Perth's eastern suburbs.
The Rotary Clubs have recently received an influx of donated bicycles, sourced from individual donors, as well as from the Metropolitan Transport Authority. The latter stores abandoned bicycles found at various public transport stations at their Kwinana depot  If a bicycle remains unclaimed after a period of 30 days, it is passed on to B4HWA.
Members from the Rotary Club of Pinjarra recently accepted one such quantity of bicycles, which were transported to a farmshed in East Coolup where a large number of other previously donated and collected bicycles were stored.
Bikes, Bikes, and MORE Bikes!
On Saturday 27th June, a working bee of volunteers from the two Rotary Clubs gathered at the East Coolup site and sorted over 150 bicycles into "suitable, does not need work", "suitable, does need work", unsuitable, but parts may be salvaged", and "unsuitable, to be scapped".
Sorting Bicycles
Of course, a lot of fun and banter happened during the day, with some members trying to ride a bicycle for the first time in decades! Pinjarra Rotarian Wille Brown did manage to find a bicycle that appeared to suit his level of ability. However, after testing it, he rejected it as training wheels were not available.
Rotarian Willie Brown- Training Wheels Required?
Once the work was completed, two barbeque hot plates were fired up, and the hungry hordes were fell fed. The weather was kind, and the wonderful scenery around the shed only added to the level of enjoyable fellowship for the gathered volunteers. The banter around the barbeque sorted many problems of the universe, and the West Coast Eagle supporters present were informed (some might say gleefully by a host of Fremantle Dockers supporters) of the progress score in the match between the Eagles and Port Adelaide. (Note: For the record, Port Adelaide had a comfortable victory in this match).
Rotary Club of Pinjarra President Vince Costantino thanked everyone for attending, having given up a portion of their Saturday. Rotarians Murray Chapman, Mervyn Williams and Geoff McLarty were thanked for their contributions which helped to make the day such a pleasure for those who had attended.
Those bicycles, now sorted, which require further work, will be readied for transportation to the Pinjarra Men's Shed site. The bicycles which are ready will be stored at the site until a practical number have been collected, after which they will be transferred to the B4HWA depot at Middle Swan.

The Clubs are now looking forward to receiving more donated bikes so B4HWA can catch up with the planned shipping schedule following the hiatus imposed during the Covid-19 health crisis.

In the developing world the most useful are adult sized sturdy hybrids or mountain bikes, and BMX sized bikes. Generally, small children’s bikes are not sent for overseas distribution, but the Clubs are investigating possible destinations for these donated small bicycles. However, anything from BMX size up to full adult size is greatfully accepted.  The BMX’s are particularly useful for our aboriginal community schools program.

If you have an adult sized bike in reasonable condition that is suitable for the developing world, it can still be used to benefit the B4H project by re-purposing it. If you would like to donate a bicycle, please contact Rotary Club of Pinjarra member Brett Loney on mobile number 0417 977548.