FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Nightclub becomes a Bike Shop
Cycling comes to Zimbabwe
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (October 4, 2010) – Located in a former nightclub, Mike's Bikes' third sister shop in Africa is set to open October 20. Milton Nyamadzawo, MK Cycles owner, stated “We're...setting up a thriving shop in the heart of downtown Bulawayo.”
The MK crew has been busy converting the space for use as a bike shop for several weeks: scraping and painting the interiors and exteriors and building out bike shelves. Once stacked with liquor bottles, the bar will soon be stacked with parts and accessories; it is being converted for use as the service department. With the arrival in early September of a container of 450 bicycles donated by Mike's Bikes customers in California, parts and tools from Mike's and accessories from Specialized, Mr. Nyamadzawo has had his hands full getting the store ready, “It's such a challenge and yet such a thrill also....the past few days have been a blur.”
Bicycles are currently fairly uncommon in Zimbabwe. Recently, when a worker from the shop went for a test ride on one of the shop bikes, he was stopped by a police officer and asked for his “cycling license” because the sight of people on bikes is that unusual. By investing seed funding and donating the initial inventory to MK Cycles in Zimbabwe, The Mike's Bikes Foundation aims to create a self-sufficient bicycle shop where none has existed before. This model has already been proved successful in Botswana with the Jonmol Bicycle Service (established 2008) and in rural Namibia at MakVeto Cycles (established 2009).
Bicycles, by virtue of being inexpensive to operate and maintain, are ideally suited to address many of the problems facing people in Southern Africa. “By enabling people to buy bikes and get them professionally maintained at a fair price, we are dramatically improving the quality of their lives. Students can get to school, patients can get to the doctor, and merchants can get their wares to their customers with greater ease and zero pollution. The simple introduction of a bicycle can make dramatic improvements in people's lives.” Matt Adams, Co-owner of Mike's Bikes explained the motivations behind the Foundation's projects.
“Matt and I will be going to Bulawayo in the next few weeks to help Milton finish the store and open,” said Ken Martin, Mike's Bikes co-owner. “We're very excited to be opening our third sister store in Africa, and to have the opportunity to use our 34 years of combined experience in the bicycle industry to make a real difference in people's lives.”
Ken Martin, Co-owner Mike's Bikes
(415) 454 - 6921 x115
Mike's Bikes is the largest independently operated bicycle shop in the US, with eight Northern California locations. Since 2007, Mike's has leveraged their expertise with bicycles to improve life in Africa. Toward the goals of improving people's lives through increasing their access to health care, education and market opportunities for goods and services The Mike's Bikes Foundation was formed in 2008.