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Mutually Inclusive
A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Whole bike shop gifted to Spokes Folks in GR

Mariano Avila

It’s early in the morning and Martel Posey, the new executive director of Spokes Folks, is making arrangements to move an entire bike shop gifted to his organization from a donor in Bay City to Grand Rapids.

“Forty bikes, a bunch of tools, and a bunch of just boxes of parts that have been sitting there for a while now. And they thought it would be the perfect place to continue the story.”

That story, like the gift, is hardly what you would call predictable. In fact, it’s the story a man who’s entire life work, was to help people make cycling a viable form of transportation. His name was Ken Volz.

“What’s really crazy is the guy was a teacher, and he quit being a teacher, and said ‘I think I could fix bicycles.’ So he put a sign on his garage and became the bike guy, sort of, kind of like what we do.”

Back at Spokes Folks shop, just off of Grandville by near Founders and the Rapid, downtown, it’s nearing 10 at night and Posey, plus a handful of volunteers have unloaded piles of boxes filled with tools and spare parts, the dozens of bikes and even something for future cyclists.

“We got a lot of good kids wheels too, which is going to be amazing. So, next summer comes around, we’ll be like, kids who have bent rims, we can just go right in and say ‘we have all of these rims which came from this amazing dude.”

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