Urbana police set for another bike giveaway

URBANA — Buoyed by the success of their first bike giveaway in December, the Urbana Police Department intends to do another.

This time the city will team up with the Champaign County sheriff's office to give away about 160 used bicycles. The village of Savoy is expected to throw in a few as well.

Bicycles will be given to Champaign County citizens between 10 a.m. and noon on Friday, June 1, at the city's bicycle storage building, 704 S. Glover St., U.

Chelsea Angelo, the abandoned-bicycle officer for Urbana, said organizers learned a few things from the first event, which took place about two weeks before Christmas. The main thing was that they would try to get the bicycles in a safe, if not perfect, condition prior to the event.

"Keith Gowers (of Cycles Plus in Danville) is going to come ahead of time and rehab some of the bikes," she said. "That should make it go a little quicker this time."

In December, the city gave away 72 bicycles but more than 150 people showed up hoping to snag one. Gowers was there on the day of the event, trying to make sure the brakes worked and the chains were in the right place before recipients headed out the door.

Since then, the city has amassed another 60 or so. And the sheriff's office has another 100, so they decided to give them away at the same time.

"It's open to anybody, first come, first served. We ask that it be one bike per person," she said.

The bikes will be offered in as-is condition.

If anyone needs more information, contact Angelo or Lt. Robert Fitzgerald at 217-384-2320 at the Urbana Police Department or sheriff's Sgt. Keith Cunningham at 217-384-1204 at the Champaign County sheriff's office.

You can email them at fitzgerj@urbanaillinois.us, angelocl@urbanaillinois.us or kcunningham@co.champaign.il.us.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on May 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

Your kid's bike was stolen?  Well, get there early; and you have a chance to get it back free.