Long before he was an Eagles soccer fan, long before he was a member of the Ashland Optimist Club, Ernie Wren was very handy with small bicycle wrenches.

“I worked at a Columbia bike shop, Jim’s Bike and Key,” said Wren, sitting amidst a pile of broken, abused bicycles of a variety of shapes, sizes and condition.

Wren’s goal is to get a number of them to have two things in common: Good working condition and a new owner.

This bicycle story began when students from the University of Missouri came to Ashland for a Saturday of volunteer work, cleaning and general maintenance. One area they opened up to clean out was the City of Ashland’s police storage shed. Inside were some 35-plus bicycles which had either been left behind at local rentals, listed as lost and never claimed and at least one bike still with an “evidence” tag on it.

To those without a trained bicycle mechanic background, it likely looked like a heap of junk pedals and flat tires.

To Wren it looked like one more way he and the Optimist Club could serve the community.

~ Read more in today’s Journal ~

by Bruce Wallace