Big and small, hundreds of bicycles were donated along the lakefront Friday morning.
"We look forward to it," Aaron Schultze, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Lake Express said. "Invariably, it has a great response. We've done six to seven thousand bikes in these drives through the years."
The seventh annual bike donation has a tremendous response every year. The first 500 people who bring gently used bikes get a free round-trip ferry ticket, which is a great motivator.
"This deal was too good to pass up," donator Mark Fecthmeyer said.
But people also do it to help out those who are less fortunate.
"It's an excellent feeling to give back to the community and help out others," Cathy Rivera said. "There are some less fortunate and some are fortunate. It's a good feeling to give back."
The 16th Street Community Health Center and Milwaukee Bicycle Collective are benefiting from the donations. David Waters, a pediatrician at the health center, says the bikes are the best way to try and tackle a growing obesity epidemic on the near south side.
"A kid on a bike is a ticket to being healthier," Waters said. "Just to get the kids out, get them on bikes and get them riding is a ticket to being healthier in our community. Hopefully, treating obesity or preventing obesity is the way to go."
In addition to the 500 tickets they gave away for donations, the Lake Express Ferry is giving away 100 more tickets for cash donations made between April 20th and April 27th. They will give away 50 tickets at two different donor levels ($75 and $125 minimum donations). For more information or to donate to the Milwaukee Bicycle Collective as a part of this giveaway, you can do so here.