Bikes are Big Business for Burning Man - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Bikes are Big Business for Burning Man

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More than 50,000 burners converge into Northern Nevada for Burning Man and a lot of businesses are seeing an annual boon for business. And the bike business is at the top of that list.

"This is the biggest fundraiser for the entire year for us," said Jeff Mitchell with the Reno Bike Project in Reno. "We will sell 500 bikes through here for $60 a bike. And that money will fund all of our other programs when things get slow in January and February."

The Reno Bike Project adds more bikes to their inventory every year. While they sell the bikes for Burning Man, a lot of those same bikes are brought back and donated, fixed up and sent back out to the playa for the next festival.

Bikes are also making money for profit bike shops too. In fact, Black Rock Bicycles at 7875 North Virginia Street, has outgrown its original location at Randy Robison's house.

"We just grew so fast that we had to move for space," he says with a smile.

Their new location on North Virginia Street has already rented out 1,000 bikes for this year's Burning Man Festival. They have a few hundred more bikes for sale. And they say there seems to be no end to the number they could rent out if they could store them.

"We have people come from Israel, South Africa, all over Europe. We rent the bikes to them and then we fix up the rentals for another year. And our product is comfortable. On the playa you need wide tires and a comfortable seat and our bikes have both...plus lights," Robison says.

Both locations are expected to be packed with those picking up bikes Sunday as they head to the playa and again as they are all returned a week later. And all of the money raised is going into the local economy one way or another.

For more information on the Reno Bike Project, go to www.renobikeproject.com

And for Black Rock Bicycles, go to www.blackrockbicycles.com

Written by Erin Breen

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