Putnamville inmates fixing bikes for Shifting Gears program

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Bicycle Garage Indy has been making a big push for bike donations this month.

The bikes go to their Shifting Gears program and provide bikes for kids, disabled veterans, refugees and others in need of transportation.

Before the bikes go to those people, they go to the Putnamville Correctional Facility, where inmates fix them up. The Putnamville Correctional Facility has been working with the Shifting Gears program for ten years.

The bikes come in by the truckload. Some require a little more work than others, some can be fixed in a few hours, some take a few weeks.

This year, they have already fixed 500 bikes and their goal is to get to 800.

The inmates say they like to pick out the most challenging bikes to fix.

“I kind of place these on a level of life that either I deal with it or I run from it and in society, you can’t run, you have to face it and you have to deal with it and you have to overcome it, and once you overcome it, you move on,” Charles Holmes said.

The inmates will have some new bikes to work on. Bicycle Garage Indy says they have collected more than 125 bikes during their donation drive this month. You can donate throughout the year at Bicycle Garage Indy locations. You can find those locations here.