It’s not exactly Santa’s workshop, but with pieces and parts and paint and tools lying around, it certainly resembles his workshop and serves the same purpose.
Stay-at-home mom and small business entrepreneur Madison Flocks has more than a dozen bicycles dismantled and in various stages of repair scattered about her home and the space she rents at the downtown Statesboro location of The Digital Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) at Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group.
Working hard with her helper elf, as she calls her fiancé Robert Richards, Flocks has reassembled 20 bikes and donated them to the Fostering Bulloch organization to give away for Christmas.
“It started out as a hobby,” Flocks said about her business, Recycled Cycles Statesboro.
She grew up racing BMX bikes in southern California and has always had a passion for cycling.
When she moved to Savannah after high school to live near her dad, 29-year-old Flocks eventually met her now-fiancé, who is a motocross mechanic. She and Richards traveled throughout Georgia for him to train kids in motocross, and it was during that time that she learned the mechanical side of bicycles.
“He grew to have an obsession with bikes, even though he didn’t have a bicycle until he was about 13 because he grew up in the country with mostly sandy fields, riding motocross,” Flocks said.
Once the two moved to Statesboro, Richards’ hometown, she began to tinker with bike repairs as a hobby. She and her husband had amassed several bikes; some were given to her and some were discarded trash items. She had such a great response selling repaired, like-new bikes that she decided to make it a business.
“Not everyone can afford a brand new bike,” Flocks said. “We wanted to make it affordable for every child to own a bike; it doesn’t have to be a brand new bike.”
By the time Flocks, a Shimano certified bike technician, finishes with repairs and refurbishing, however, most of the bicycles resemble new ones.
Flocks is thrilled to work with Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group (BIG) for the new business that she hopes grows bigger in the future.
“It’s cool to be a part of the FabLab and BIG to help me get my business up and running. I’m learning what I need to know about business and have a place to work at an affordable price. They’re helping the local community, are huge supporters of downtown Statesboro and are great with helping businesses get their start.”
Fostering Bulloch founder Chris Yaughn was grateful for the donation and said equally thrilling is the prospect of a working relationship with the bike repair expert.
“I’ve had a lot of people graciously offer to repair bikes over the years, and they meant well, but many didn’t follow through because of various circumstances,” Yaughn said. “And when Madison came through on her promise, I thought, ‘That’s really stinkin’ cool.’”
“Their heart for serving others and their desire to capitalize on our community resources is phenomenal,” he said.
“These bikes will bless kids that are underserved in the gifting realm,” Yaughn said.
Yaughn stated that there’s a large population of Bulloch County kids whose parents can barely pay the electricity bill, and those parents can’t afford new bikes for their kids.
“Now, when the kids that get the donated bikes go back to school in January, they’ll be able to talk about their bicycles, too, just like all their friends.”