As summer arrives and gas prices fluctuate, many people are using bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. The Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF), always seeking to expand offender work programs, chose to capitalize on this low-maintenance, no-octane trend by implementing a "Shifting Gears" program.
The program, a collaborative effort between PCF, Bicycles of America and Volunteers of America, affords incarcerated individuals an opportunity to learn and apply vocational skills toward reconditioning bicycles.
With an inventory of 638 unusable bicycles, Putnamville offenders will spend their time fixing gears, replacing seats, tires, handle bars and pedals to make the bikes road ready.
Once the reconditioning process is complete, the bicycles will be given to Volunteers of America, who will distribute them to citizens in the community.
"This is an exciting program that serves a dual purpose," PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight said. "It increases the number of offender jobs at the facility and provides a service to the community."
He advises local residents to check their side mirrors and be watchful for cyclists ... the bike you just passed may have been "reconditioned" at the Putnamville Correcti-onal Facility.