Susan Lindell, Bike Mechanic
by Kathleen Lees
Sep 05, 2012 | 21542 views | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(Photo: JJ Sullin)

The motto may be “out with the old and in with the new,” but Susan Lindell sees things a little differently when it comes to aging equipment—particularly bicycles.

“Most used bikes just need a little TLC,” said Lindell, the manager of Recycle-A-Bicycle at 35 Peral Street in DUMBO

Recycle-A-Bicycle is a community-based bike shop and non-profit organization that facilitates job training and environmental education.

A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Lindell, 34, said she moved to New York City in 2003 for a change of scenery. One of her first jobs was repairing guitars, and Lindell said that she had a knack for fixing things.

Shortly after her move, Lindell started cycling for exercise and as a means of transportation in the city. “My bike would break and I wanted to know how to fix it,” she said.

After attending numerous volunteer nights led by Recycle-A-Bicycle founder Karen Overton, Lindell said she became fascinated with fixing bicycles. Shortly after, she was hired as a part-time mechanic for the group.

“I just fell in love with the work and the organization and the people,” she said, adding that she quit her other job soon after to become the store manager.

Whenever a used bike is donated or a customer needs repairs, Lindell said the first step is to determine what condition the bike is in.

“We take a look at the bike to determine if it’s salvageable or not,” she said. “If it is, we fully refurbish the bike and sell it at our store. If the bike’s not useable, we’ll take remaining parts off that might be used and recycle the rest.”

Lindell also stressed that bike repairs can range in price depending on the level of damage.

Despite losing a bike here or there, Lindell said she’s happy with her work. “We get people excited about cycling by helping,” she said.

There are two other Recycle-A-Bicycle shops located in Manhattan and Long Island City. For more information about volunteering or signing up for a workshop, visit their website at

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