Martinsville Bike Barn Booming, Needs Extra Funds To Keep Up With Demand

Martinsville, VA-- We're smack dab in the middle of the time of year when it's just fun to hop and a bicycle and ride. Don't have one? No problem if you live near the Bike Barn.

The Bike Barn is part of the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA and is funded through grants, fundraisers and donations.You can borrow a bike for free. It's really popular, and right now they need some extra support.

Tucked away on Doyle Street in Martinsville is a barn that, for many, signifies a life changing moment.

"I'm just really glad that Martinsville put this here because it's helped me lose weight and get healthier," said Leighann Meadows, a bike rider.

"This is the greatest thing for me. I get a lot of good exercise. I've lost about 50 pounds," said Keith Fulcher, who's also a bike rider.

It's all with the help of a program called Bike Barn. It's provided by the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA. It lets people borrow a bike for free to ride along the Dick and Willie Passage Trail.

"We had over 1,000 different people check out a bike this year. We just opened in April," said Brad Kinkema, Executive Director of Martinsville-Henry County YMCA.

Kinema says the busier the barn gets the more people are getting active, which is their main goal. But the busy barn also means they have to step up their maintenance fund. The barn is funded through the Harvest Foundation, proceeds from a race series and donations, but it's still needs a little extra.

"We're constantly replacing bike tires, bikes, we have staffing and we want to keep everything in good shape. So it takes about $20,000 to operate a year," Kinema said.

Martinsville Mayor Kim Adkins toured the YMCA this week and discussed considering possible city funding. Kinema believes it would a worth-while partnership with the city.

"So we can know five years, 10 years down the road when this is even better and they expand then trail, then we'll still be here," he added.

It's all to continue to helping local residents stay active and live long healthy lives.

If you'd like to make use of the Bike Barn, it's available Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday it's available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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