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      New challenges for annual bike giveaway in Syracuse

      P reparations are underway for the annual bicycle giveaway in Syracuse, with some new hurdles to cross.

      Jan Maloff has been giving away used and repaired bicycles to inner city families for 17 years. Beginning November 26th, he will begin accepting donated bikes at the Toyota Building at the New York State Fairgrounds. Maloff told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, that he and a crew of volunteers will fix up the bikes so that they can be distributed for free. He hopes to hold the giveaway on December 22nd, the Saturday before Christmas.

      Last year, Maloff gave away a record 3500 bicycles.

      It's uncertain whether Maloff will be able to distribute as many free helmets as he has in years past. He says he often sees children riding through Syracuse without wearing helmets after receiving free bikes, so he says he will more carefully screen the children to be certain that they will use the helmets they receive.. Maloff feels it would be better to provide the children with bicycle locks because he says many of the bikes he gives away end up stolen.

      Maloff says he also must shell out $1200 for "event insurance" for the use of the fairgrounds. He says he doesn't blame fair officials for the extra expense. He agrees that the insurance is needed to protect against possible lawsuits.

      Maloff is trying to raise up to $12,000 to pay for insurance, bicycle parts and a larger trailer to transport them from the Fairgrounds to a distribution point in Syracuse. He has set up a not-for-profit so that the donations would be tax deductible.

      You can contribute to the:

      Central New York Family Bicycle Giveway319 Barrington RoadSyracuse, NY 13214