PBMA is excited to introduce our newest Mechanic of the Week, Michael Warns, of Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles in St. Paul, Minnesota!
For those of you just tuning into #mechanicmonday, this is where we feature one mechanic each week, chosen at random from nominations submitted the week before. It’s all about mechanics supporting fellow mechanics – even behind the scenes, where we are proud to say that our Mechanic of the Week is presented by none other than Abbey Bike Tools and the Friar himself!
Michael and his wife, Benita, are the brains, hearts, and wrenches behind what the St. Paul community lovingly refers to as their “bicycle ministry.” Both Michael and Benita have full-time jobs outside of the cycling industry. They opened their nonprofit cycling shop, Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles, in 1998, and they have been collecting and repairing donated bicycles ever since. The most incredible part about their shop is that every bicycle they restore is then given to a person in need. Since 1998, they have donated over 6,000 bicycles and facilitated countless repair clinics for the homeless, and they have done it all without taking a salary.
To offset their expenses, Michael offers low-cost mechanical services and sells an assortment of hard-to-find, mostly vintage parts. (He jokingly refers to his inventory as “the ultimate bicycle junkyard!”) Many up-and-coming mechanics in the St. Paul area volunteer with Michael and Benita, helping them with repairs and learning the skills necessary to become a successful bicycle mechanic and all-around good human being.
On behalf of the entire PBMA community, we thank Michael and Benita for their incredible mission and generosity. We’re so humbled by their work, and we’re honored to call Michael our Mechanic of the Week. He may not be a full-time bike mechanic, but he is a true professional in every sense of the word, and our community (and the St. Paul community) is undoubtedly better because he is a part of it.
For everyone reading this at home, we encourage you to join the #MOTW conversation: Post a picture of YOUR favorite mechanic and tag us @probicyclemech, #probma, or #mechanicmonday, or nominate him or her to be featured in next week’s post!
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