By SHANNON WATKINS
The Draper Mercantile’s Blue Door Café will host Bikes, Brews and Bluegrass, a benefit dinner for the New River Valley Bike Kitchen, Saturday, May 4.
The NRV Bike Kitchen is a project of the New River Valley Bicycle Association, a non-profit organization promoting cycling in the region. “Bike Kitchen” is a play on “soup kitchen” according to Beth Lohman, who founded it last year with her husband Jerry Ford.
The Kitchen’s goal is to help the disadvantaged afford good bicycles, especially when this may be the only source of transportation they have. It seeks to offer quality recycled bikes at lower prices and also provide repair options at reduced prices.
Lohman and Ford noted that quality bicycles are usually too expensive for anyone without disposable income, and cheaper models from big chain stores tend to break too easily, necessitating costly repairs.
“Our goal is to be a community resource hub, and to succeed in this goal, we have to grow strong partnerships with local businesses and the community,” said Lohman. “We see the Bikes, Brews and Bluegrass event as an opportunity to grow our relationships in Pulaski, which is one of our service areas.”
The event will start with a 20-mile ride led by Thomas Hash at 2 p.m. on the New River Trail. Bike rentals from the Mercantile are open to all; Children are welcome but child and smaller youth bike rentals are limited; participants of all ages are encouraged to call ahead to reserve rentals or bring their own bikes.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and Broken Spoke, a group comprised of some members of New Standard bluegrass band, will play from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The event has a $5 cover charge that will go directly to the NRV Bike Kitchen’s funds; dinner and drinks can be purchased separately from a special menu for the event. Children are also welcome at this portion of the event.
To reserve a bike, call the Draper Mercantile at (540) 994-5659; extension 2 for bike rentals and extension 4 to reserve a space at the dinner.
For more information on the NRV Bike Kitchen, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.nrvbikekitchen.com” www.nrvbikekitchen.com or send an email to HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com.