Burner bikes end up helping area kids

Reported by: Terri Hendry
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Updated: 9/01 6:55 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The Burning Man Festival is leaving an unexpected legacy in northern Nevada, thanks to the Kiwanis Club.

For years, some burners would leave their playa bike in the dumpster before boarding a plane home at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Many burners are from overseas, while others find hauling a dusty bike home too cumbersome and expensive.

So this year, the airport has teamed up with Kiwanis. Burners can now drop their bike off at a convenient location at the airport, where it is donated to the Kiwanis Club.

The Club puts the bikes to good use. "Our volunteers re-furbish the bikes," said Kiwanis Club board member Roger Jacobson. "The burners are really happy about leaving them here knowing they're going to get recycled."

For almost a decade, the Kiwanis Club has been refurbishing used bikes from Burning Man. It started out eight years ago with six bikes, and has now grown to more than a thousand bikes.

Jacobson said the bikes provide a nice revenue source for the group. "We rent our bikes back to returning burners year after year. They rent them over the internet for on average for about $50 dollars. Our profit is almost all of that because we don't put a lot of money into them."

Jacobson said the money raised goes toward helping the club and area children. "It is a big fundraiser for us. It basically pays our rent for our building for the year and then we can focus on our kids programs."

Jacobson also said the Kiwanis Club donates about a thousand bicycles to needy, area children, as well as bike helmets throughout the year.

To learn more about the program, click here.
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