19 May 2018

Recycling Bikes In Brett's Memory

Families find all sorts of ways to keep the memory of a loved one alive.

This might be a "first", though:  a recycle-a-cycle program.

Three years ago, a motorcycle accident took Brett Rainey, whom his sister, Lisa Karrer, described as her "best friend".

She lives in Huntington Station, a Long Island town just a morning or afternoon ride from my apartment.  It has its charms, but as in many parts of Long Island, streets marked with hardscrabble lives are woven among the strands of  mansion-lined lanes.  A kilometer or less away from folks who drive their Mercedes' to shops where they buy the latest carbon fiber bikes and lycra kit, one can see children who don't have a bike to ride--or immigrants, mostly young, who could use a bike to get to the lawns they manicure and houses they paint.

Living with such a reality, and with the memory of a brother whose last job--and passion--gave birth to the idea.  "My wife said why don't we get used bikes?  We'll fix them up and donate them to the kids that can't afford them, we'll give them in Brett's name because that's what he would have wanted," she recalled.

The family's project, Brett's Bicycle Recycle, has given away about 100 bicycles, tricycles and skateboards since it started last year.  "Some of these kids have never even rode a bike and they're like 14- to 15-years old and they're in shock,"  Karrer explains.  

"He would have loved seeing this," said his mother, Drena Kanz 

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