Madison Freewheel Bicycle Co -- better known as Freewheel -- has provides people in the Madison, Wisconsin area with free carbon-neutral transportation. We're passionate about bicycles, and we accept donations of used bikes and parts from the community.
We provide these for free to people in need, and we teach classes on bike building, repair, and maintenance. We're proud to have been a pillar of our local community for 16 years.
Bikes and COVID-19
Governor Evers' Safer At Home order lists bike shops as an essential business -- so we're still open on an appointment-only basis. We're taking all steps to assure the safety of our workers and visitors, including cleaning our shop space, limiting the number of people in our space at once, and maintaining proper social distance.
We aren't surprised that our shop is seeing unprecedented demand for our services. Public health authorities are encouraging people to avoid public transportation, because it's a potential vector for viral spread. People without cars are seeking bikes to get to essential businesses -- and to get some exercise during quarantine.
We're committed to meeting this dramatic increase in demand for free bikes. Our goal is to get as many Madisonians onto bikes and off public transportation as we possibly can, and to provide everyone with a safe way to get outside and improve their physical and mental health during the quarantine.
But we face unique practical and financial challenges with that mission:
We Need Your Help!
Before the Safer At Home order took effect, we planning to reopen our annual spring bike repair classes. And we're still slated to open the new Madison Bike Center project downtown in summer. We had a full plate, and we're still committed to fulfilling our obligations to the community.
But now we're thinking about what our future holds as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, and we see new challenges on the horizon. Like many 501(c)3s, we're worried about the sudden downturn in the economy, and what this could mean for our organization's sustainability.
We need your support to get us over this hurdle. We want to continue to pay our staff, get people on bikes, and provide top-notch mechanical and safety instruction for everyone who wants it.
If we can make $1000 in at least 10 donations via this fundraiser, GoFundMe has promised to match that money! We are honored by your gift, and excited for the potential of this campaign. With your help, we'll give away bikes to Madisonians in need for years to come.