Juan Orellana used his skills to give back to our community at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Well, his side project took off.
Just recently, Orellana launched Upcycle, a bike rental shop in West Palm Beach.
It’s a for-profit business that gives bikes to people in the hopes of helping them out of poverty, as well as kids whose families might not otherwise have the means to afford one.
Orellana is no stranger to the industry, having worked with bikes for years.
While out of work, he started collecting bikes to repair and donate to others, using social media to spread the word.
And West Palm Beach delivered.
“Project Ride It Out” took off as Orellana seized the opportunity to meet a need that he discovered in our own community.
“We’re in September, the pandemic is still going on,” he said. “Still, unemployment is rising, benefits are going to start to run out and the unemployment numbers are going to be very shocking in a way that people might end up on the streets. I feel like it’s the bicycle that can save most of these families.
Orellana says the community has donated more than 150 bikes, which he’s fixed up and given right back to others in our city.