About MMRB

It all started with a little neighbor boy named Zeek. He loved bicycles. Although he was from a poor family, he managed to find discarded bicycles while hunting scrap metal with his grandpa. Most of these bicycles were not in very good condition. One day Zeek saw Michael and I riding our bicycles and asked if we could help him fix one of his. Once Zeek discovered that Michael could repair bicycles, he would race to our house on his latest treasure as soon as he saw Michael’s red truck coming down the street. Michael did his best to fix the bicycles, but some were just beyond repair.

Michael and I volunteer a lot. We signed up to volunteer at our neighborhood cleanup. The organizers needed help with the bicycles. Since we knew how to fix them, we knew we could do the job, which was to tear down most of the bicycles and recover the scrap metal. Many of the bicycles that came in only needed minor repairs to make them road worthy. We thought of Zeek, and realized that some of the bicycles we were tearing apart were better than his. We managed to squirrel away a couple of bikes and some spare parts to keep the bikes in good repair. Then we fixed a bicycle to give to Zeek. I wish I had a picture of his face on that special day.

The gift of that one bicycle has grown into Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles. We go to various community recycling centers and collect the bicycles that people are discarding. Those that are beyond repair we tear apart, but we salvage as many parts from them as possible and use them to repair other bicycles. Since we started this work in 1998, we estimate that we have given away over 8000 bicycles, and kept the metal from several thousand bicycles from going into a landfill!

Although we do sell some bicycles, our primary focus is on giving away bicycles.  Among our recipients are low-income children and adults, college students (many from foreign countries), new immigrants, neighbors, residents of half-way houses, and even homeless people. Our bicycles are available to anyone who wants one without regard to socioeconomic status.

One of our neighbors is a social worker whose clients are homeless. He told us that our bicycles have enabled several of his clients to obtain and keep employment and move into their own apartments. We also have had the privilege of providing bicycles to needy families at Christmas time. Then there was the time we received an adult-sized tricycle that we then gave to a 12-year-old boy with developmental disabilities. His foster mom sent us photos of this smiling child riding the tricycle and told us how this gift had changed his life.

Our mission is, “To provide a bicycle to any person who wants one regardless of socioeconomic status.” We are not a non-profit, but are a business that operates on a break-even basis. We do not earn any salary from this company.

Since we are not a non-profit, we need to earn money to pay for renting our store, storage space, purchasing cables and lube and other parts for fixing the bicycles, insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses associated with running the business. We sell used parts and accessories, used bicycles, and provide paid repair services to raise the money. 90% of all funds received from the money you spend will be used to cover our costs, enabling us to keep on giving away bicycles. The other 10% is given to charity. We especially treasure customers who buy our stuff during the off season, as that helps us pay the bills.

We have a large variety of vintage parts, both new and used, as well as some bicycles that are sold “as-is,” and proceeds from these sales are used to cover our expenses.  If you are seeking a part, a project bicycle, or whatever, come and shop at the Ultimate Bike Junk Yard and you just may find what you seek.

We appreciate your business, and all those who help us to fulfill our mission to give away bicycles to people who need them.
Michael and Benita Warns

Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles

520 N Prior Ave

St Paul MN 55104

11 thoughts on “About MMRB

  1. […] came from the incredible folks at Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles. In addition to running one of the raddest community shops around Mike and Benita designate 10% of their income to charity. The couple said they dog-eared a good […]

  2. We currently don’t have any used bicycles with disc brakes in stock, sorry.

  3. Stolen Bike – Kona Lanai
    Black, yellow stripe – 26 inch wheels.
    Bike was wearing Nokian studded tires – thief left behind front wheel, so look for mis-matched wheels
    Taken on Jan 29, 2018 from U of M Centennial Hall dorm
    U of M Police report: UM-18-029262 serial number in police report
    Bike has Halo skewers and non-quick release seat post clamp, FSA handlebar spacers
    Bike is brand new 2014 model – less than 10 miles on it when stolen
    Any info, please contact U of M Police or John Fuszard (262) 955-9167
    Photos available – Thanks!

  4. Looking for a decent used road bike to participate in a triathlon this Saturday, September 1st. My bike was stole and I am kind of in a pinch right now. I looked to rent a bike from some local shops for the tri and until I can afford to get a new bike but it is very expensive. Just started working again and don’t have a lot of money to spend right now.

  5. Come in to our shop tonight between 5 PM and 8 PM and we will see what we can do. We have several road bikes available now. The shop is at 520 N. Prior Avenue in St. Paul.

  6. Benita & Mike,
    I would like to support your efforts.
    What gift cards from businesses and/or check(made out to whom?!)be of benefit to your

    Great work! Thank you!
    Patrick Byron
    Winona, MN

  7. Thanks for your kind words. You may support our work financially by simply mailing a check to us at 520 N. Prior Avenue in St. Paul, made out to MMRB or to Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles. We have had some technical difficulties over the last couple of weeks, so sorry for the delay in my response.

  8. Just wondering if you sell used bikes and if you take bike donations

  9. Yes, we sell used bicycles to pay the bills so we can keep on giving away bicycles to folks in need. Yes, we take bicycle donations, but contact us first by calling 651-641-1037 to be sure we have enough room for the bicycles.

  10. To Michael and Benita-
    I just stumbled across your web page after reading something that Benita wrote for the Ann Bancroft Foundation.
    So.. here’s what I do- I have a Facebook /YouTube videocast. I interview folks, past of the age of 50, that have interesting businesses, non-profits, or events that folks, past the age of 50, might want to know about.
    You’ll see that I’ve recently interviewed Terry Esau, FB4K.
    When would be a good time to call to talk about.. 1. If you’d be interested in talking with me? 2. If so, when?
    Thanks for your consideration-
    Diana Pierce

  11. Yes, we would be glad to speak with you. Please call 651-641-1037 and leave a voice mail with your telephone contact information and then I can call you with calendar in hand to schedule a good time. Thanks.

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