After image of thousands of bicycles left at Burning Man made its way around social media, there was public outcry at the apparent mass littering of 3,000 bikes by Burners at Black Rock Desert but as it turns out, there is a happy ending for these abandoned rides.
News 4 reports all the bikes left at Burning Man we rounded up by moving trucks and donated to local charities like the Reno Bike Project and the Kiwanis Club. The bikes are then washed thoroughly, fixed up, and stored until next years Burning Man where they will be sold back to participants for $60-80 a piece. This model has earned non-profits tens of thousands of dollars and keeps the Burners mobile and happy.
If you’re wondering why the bikes are fixed and then sold to Reno locals, its because of the damage the Playa dust does to them. Kurstin Graham from the Reno Bike Project says that the dust and lack of proper maintenance makes the majority of Burner Bikes unsuitable for riding around town for more than a few weeks, but they are perfect for riding around The Playa for 3 or 4 more years of Burning Man.
“They would just turn to garbage very quickly. And that’s something we don’t want to do. We don’t want Reno to become cluttered with burning man garbage and these bikes would just fall apart because they’re full of Playa dust and they haven’t been maintained.”
Great to know there is a responsible process for all these abandoned bikes and that the local charities of Reno benefit from their collection and reselling.
[images from Meteorologist Jaclyn Shearer facebook]