End of the Year Recap: It's been another great ride!

As we wind down for the year and bring 2022 to a close, we want to take time to thank everyone who helped make the year possible. We were able to provide 77 bicycles to individuals through our Earn a Bike program, which was supported by individual donors, grants from the Salisbury Community Foundation, New Belgium Brewing and First United Church of Christ, and our own fundraising efforts. We were able to host the inaugural Spring Roll fundraiser thanks to a ton of community support. Mark your calendars for April 29, 2023 as we bring the Spring Roll back to the streets - this year will bring the same family fun but with a few changes that help make the event more accessible and more impactful. We can't wait to share it! Wallace & Graham Gives, Soful Yoga, Novant Health, The Dale Jr Foundation, South Main Books, IT Clips, New Sarum, Taylor Clay, Reid Acree, Kevin & Cybil Jones, Understanding Your Dog, One Love Services, Slice of Heaven, Codist Creative and F & M bank all contributed to make the initial Spring Roll happen. Remember these community minded folks and be sure to visit their businesses. The Spring Roll raised $8500 for our various shop programs.

We were able to provide 3 school programs in 2022 - including two sessions at Salisbury Academy and one at Overton Elementary. Partnering with Salisbury Pediatrics and Healthy Rowan, we hosted one learn to ride event, Let's Ride Rowan at Community Care Clinic. Summer brought 4 weeks of camp this year - two elementary camps, one middle school and one teen tour camp. The Woodson Foundation again supported our camp programming, allowing us to make this experience accessible to more kids through reduced cost and free tuition. The Rowan County Health Dept. also sponsored three students at camp. Once again, our community partners stepped up to help provide activities and fun, which included visits to Eaman Park Pool, Happy Roots gardens, Soful Yoga, various city parks, the YMCA, and Rijks Strength and Performance. We love riding bikes in the summer and are busy thinking of ways to keep kids engaged (and safe), and mix things up a bit in 2023 - stay tuned for updates! 

As we moved into fall this year, we hosted team builds with Daimler and Novant. Each of these incredible companies helped assemble children's bikes through our corporate team build program, allowing us to continue giving high quality refurbished bicycles to youth in our area. Again, we are beyond grateful for the amazing support. This was our THIRD year at Daimler. They've now donated $11,000 to our shop through direct donations and team build events since 2020. They're a class act company and we love visiting each year. 

2022 saw us extend our reach a little farther, as we committed to supporting trail building and maintenance efforts at Salisbury Community Park. By partnering with the city of Salisbury, we'll be working on behalf of all trail users to keep the trails maintained, a task the city just doesn't have the manpower to accomplish. The city doesn't pay for this work; it's done by volunteers for the betterment of our community. This is another volunteer activity and we need all the help we can get. Consider joining us for a trail workday in 2023! Our work on the trails happens, in part, because a number of us are dedicated mountain bikers. As we look to connect more folks with bikes, we have taken on a role within the NCICL, or NC Interscholastic Cycling League, to support and coach an area youth mountain bike team. The Rowan Rockhounds began the season this month, and will continue into spring of 2023. This is our second season of involvement and we've taken on a larger role this time. With five board members coaching and directing the team, it's a group effort and a labor of love. We successfully raised $5000 this year, which was matched by the Outride Fund to support the team. Nearly all funding towards this matching grant again came from local businesses and individuals. Consolidated Truck Parts and Skinny Wheels Bike Shop stepped up as major sponsors, with Audramatic Cleaning, The Forum, Beebe's Tire, Rijk's Strength and Performance, NC Transportation Museum, Codist Creative and Ritchies Steamway Carpet Cleaning supporting the effort as well. This money has covered several rider and coach scholarships, will pay for team uniforms and gear, and travel expenses. In addition, four local youth were awarded Trek Pathfinder scholarships through Trek Bikes and the National Interscholastic Cycling League. This program, aimed at bringing more diversity and people of color into the sport of mountain biking, gave four local young men new bicycles, helmets, clothing and gear to be fully outfitted for a season of riding and racing. For most of these student athletes, it's their first opportunity to visit the trails, though each ride daily for transportation. We'll be posting regular updates on the progress of the season, and invite all to join us at Salisbury Community Park March 19 to cheer on our Rockhounds as they compete locally.

Beyond the bikes we've donated through the Earn a Bike program, we continued to offer our workshop space to the public for repair and bike maintenance. This is another area we can truly use volunteers, so if you'd like to help wrench on bikes, hit us up! We need you! Drop off repairs and used bike sales continued this year as well, helping us bring in necessary income while continuing our mission of bike accessibility. Our community has kept us supplied with quality used bikes, as we couldn't do any of this without this generosity.

As we reflect on the year, know that The Pedal Factory is what YOU make it! We're a community bike center, so we focus on the needs and wants of our community. We'll continue our Earn a Bike program indefinitely, and tweak other programs based on feedback and funding. It's our pleasure to share our love of bikes and get more of our town on two wheels. Want to see us do something different? Help us out by volunteering and getting involved. Our doors are open to everyone (as long as you're not a disruptive jerk...haha) and we're waiting for you to bring your thoughts and ideas!  

Wishing each of you a happy holiday full of love, peace and hopefully a bike ride or two. We'll be taking a break from 12/27-12/29, and will use the first two weeks of January to clean, inventory, repaint floors, and tweak procedures for the year. Thanks again to everyone who has supported The Pedal Factory in any way - from giving bikes to giving time or money - just giving kindness and positivity - we appreciate you! Happy Holidays.