Vermont, was a brainchild of Ron
Manganiello. The recycling idea had
come to him the year before when
he heard from a friend that a Somali
refugee in Burlington needed a bike.
Manganiello found a castoff Raleigh
three-speed that worked fine, so he
passed it on. Then he realized that
“a gazillion other refugees” resettled
in Burlington also could use bikes
to get around, so he soon was
collecting unclaimed bikes from the
police department, hauling them to a
mechanic friend to be rehabbed and
giving them away.
Before long, his storage needs
outstripped his backyard, so he
found a better space for his fledgling
nonprofit: the capacious, unused
basement beneath Good News
Garage, the iconic Burlington
charity that distributes donated
automobiles to low-income people.
He also arranged an affiliation with
Local Motion, a nonprofit alternative
transportation advocacy group, to
serve as Bike Recycle’s fiscal agent.
The Good News Garage
headquarters were in a former bus
barn on North Winooski Avenue,
across from Old Spokes Home.
With a mission parallel to Bike
Recycle’s, Good News Garage
was about as simpatico a landlord
as could be found, Manganiello
realized. But he also knew he’d better
check in with Eames.
“Initially I felt as though there
could be some conflict,” Eames said.
“Glenn was nervous about it,”
Manganiello recalled. “He said, ‘Hey,
I’m already fixing up old bikes for
folks. How’s this going to work?’
“I said, ‘The people we’re serving
don’t have any money. They’re
refugees, they’re out of jail, they’re
homeless. I think we’re going to
“The customer said he’d landed a job but needed a bike. His home was three miles
from the bus stop, and he’d been jogging
to get there every morning.”