Giving Back on Two Wheels

Inside the building space where Communicycle works to ensure local kids can enjoy their summer on two wheels.

March 14, 2019

The region might be cold and icy now, but soon enough the sun will shine, kids will be out of school and bicycle riding season will be here. For some families, though, a bicycle can be out of their budget. But a power station employee has stepped up to help.

Beaver Valley Senior Consulting Engineer Lee Montanari leads a local outreach organization called Communicycle, which has programs in four communities near the plant – Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Midland and now East Liverpool, Ohio.

The group collects used bikes and bike parts via donations. “We take bikes in almost any condition,” said Lee. “One of the pillars of our mission is to ask kids and adults to ‘pay it forward’ by volunteering to help us get the donated bikes into riding condition.”

Repairs are done inside a large donated space in New Brighton, not far from Beaver Valley. “It can be anything from just putting on new tires to fixing a frame or putting on a new chain and seat,” according to Lee. Once revamped and refurbished, the bikes are then donated to kids in the area.

Lee said the volunteer aspect is valuable to everyone involved. “Obviously, it helps us speed up the process. But it’s a teachable environment, it reinforces volunteerism, and instills in the young people who come to help a sense of personal pride and accomplishment. Plus, they can earn a bike.”

Now through March 15, Communicycle is staging a donation drive collecting bicycles at Beaver Valley. Bikes can be dropped off at the General Distribution Center.