Ian Hall, a volunteer bike mechanic with the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks, talked with kids about bike safety at the Boys and Girls Club on Neil Road on Oct. 17. The group donates used bicycles to kids year-round.

The biggest demand period for bikes is starting now, as the group prepares to give away up to 300 of them through the Salvation Army Angel Tree, which distributes gifts to families during the holiday season. Bikes are among the most wanted items, said Ellen Jacobson, coordinator for the Kiwanis’ bike program.

“We just realized we didn’t have as many kids’ bikes as we thought we had,” Jacobson said. “And if we didn’t scurry to get some more, we’d be in trouble for Christmas.”

In mid-October, she counted around 50 bikes ready to distribute and another 50 awaiting repairs. She’s hoping for 200 more.

Bikes can be dropped off at the Kiwanis Activity Center and Bike Program, 5305 Mill St., from 1 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 1 to 5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, or at any fire station in Washoe County. The greatest need at the moment is bicycles with 16- or 20-inch frames.

The Kiwanis are also seeking volunteers to help repair bikes in time for the holidays. To inquire, email

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