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Veterans Bicycle Program Launched

Published April 4, 2010

WALLA WALLA, WA (BRAIN)—Retro and Allegro Cyclery, both of Walla Walla, WA, made an official presentation of bicycles to veteran patients at the Jonathon M. Wainwright Memorial on March 24.

Retro, a recreational cycling jersey company, launched its U.S. Veterans Bicycle Program with Allegro Cyclery and Quality Bicycle Parts (QBP), with the hope of getting more Vets back in the saddle.

Retro’s founder Roger Mallette, a U.S. Navy Veteran of six years visited Walla Walla, WA in December 2009. During that time he made contact with the Jonathon M. Wainwright Memorial VA and met Richard (Derek) Reser, the VA’s recreation director. During their talk Mallette discovered there was a 600 square foot storage space strewn with bicycles, all of which were in minor to major disrepair or dismantled completely. It was at that time that Mallette proposed to Reser that he approach Allegro Cyclery with a plan: to get some of the bicycles road worthy and safe for Vets to use in Walla Walla for exercise, exploring the community and taking care of vital personal business.

Allegro Cyclery’s Justin Bannerman and Michael Austin agreed in a meeting with Mallette to donate all mechanical services to prepare four bicycles for Veterans use. Retro agreed to purchase all necessary replacement parts from QBP to bring the bikes to standard and safety. Allegro Cyclery have since prepared two cruisers, one tricycle recumbent and one mountain bike for Vets usage in the community.

Since February QBP become a partner in the program with its donation of bicycle safety helmets, locks, safety lights, water bottle cages and bottles. Seth Nesselhuf, inside sales/ACE director of QBP was elated to participate in Retro’s program.

The program marks the first of its kind for Veterans. Retro’s mission to serve the community at large by finding ways to be useful to others has been a long standing one. The company has created bicycle programs for children in Chicago and Seattle. Retro plans to usher the Vets Bicycle Program to a national level with addition partnerships in various cities so more Vets may reacquaint themselves with cycling. The program will also routinely institute a fundamental bicycle safety instruction element for all Vets using the bikes.

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits

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