Chris Grande has been around bikes almost all his life. When Chris was a teenager he used to ride his BMX bike 14 miles round trip to the local bike shop. He would hang out there during the summer, which led to his first job working with bikes- and it continued from there. “I love what bicycles mean, what they do, I love the positives they possess,” said Chris. “A bike is a simple solution to many of life’s complex problems.”
Chris was led to Project ReCycle by another fellow board member, Greg Archunde, also Chris’ son’s soccer coach. “I have always wanted to inspire others to enjoy cycling,” said Chris. And when Greg told him about Project ReCycle and took him to The Kickstand at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital for the first time, “My jaw dropped and I said, I need to be a part of this!”
In the beginning, Chris volunteered his time training the volunteer bike mechanics and worked with Kent and Patrick on coming up with a list of steps to ensure the volunteers were learning how to refurbish the donated bikes properly and within safety standards. Chris is now a board member with the non-profit and has a much broader role. He’s helping build a new infrastructure and keeping Project ReCycle within the budget. He is also an avid cyclist and a member of Team Project ReCycle. He biked all of the events last year except the Tour of the Moon. Chris is helping the non-profit on many levels….
Before Chris came to volunteer at Project ReCycle, he used to fix up bikes that he picked up from a garage sale here and there; he’d throw on new tires and then give them away to families in need. Chris’s wife, Penny works at the Tri-County Health Department, and she would come home with Christmas wish lists for children in the program- who wished for a new bike. So Chris has been giving his time and service for many years. His eight years as a bike mechanic has really benefited many children throughout the years- including his 9-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter who benefit from weekend bike rides with their dad.