Bikes For Hurricane Victims
A Winona woman is reaching out to help hurricane victims in a unique way. Megan Kiihne was on Facebook, when she saw a photo of bicycles that had been abandoned during the Burning Man festival in Nevada. At the same time, she saw devastating photos of hurricane damage in Turks and Caicos, a group of islands north of the Dominican Republic, where she once called home.
Kiihne immediately started a GoFundMe campaign, and the same day had raised enough money to rent a 26-foot storage trailer. The next morning, she was on her way to the Black Rock Desert.
Her goal was to salvage as many bikes as she could and get them to Turks and Caicos.
She moved there in 2009, and during her few years there, Kiihne started a bike shop and helped to create the first paved bike path, bike police force and national bike federation.
By the time she arrived in Nevada, many of the bikes were already taken by other people and organizations, but Kiihne and her team were able to get 110 bikes.
Kiihne spent two days of "intensive cleaning" and, the next step is figuring out the repair schedule, reaching out to her connections in the bike industry and working with nonprofit organizations to get them to the islands.
Once this relief effort is over, Kiihne hopes to continue working with people at Burning Man every year and repairing/repurposing abandoned bikes to send to the islands in the Caribbean.