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Donations Aid El Salvador

Several dozen area residents braved the chilly damp air Saturday morning to donate more than 100 bicycles to the nonprofit group, Pedals for Progress.

Saturday's collection was then taken to Springfield where the bikes, new and used, will be loaded onto a freight with other donated bikes, and eventually will make their way to El Salvador, said Keith O'Berg, director the Washington-area branch of the New Jersey-based organization.

O'Berg said that two shipments of 500 bikes each will be sent from Virginia and New Jersey to El Salvador. "The bikes provide real transportation and training for jobs as well as much needed recreation for the country's youth," O'Berg said. "This is especially important in El Salvador because of the recent Civil War."

O'Berg and his volunteers do not repair the donated bikes. "We have local people, in whichever country we send to, reconditioning the bikes," he said. "It's good because that way we can help generate employment in these poor towns and villages."

<i>To find out about future Pedals for Progress bike collections, call 703-525-0931 or write to 3108 N. 17th St., Arlington, Va. 22201-5202.</i>