Zoltan Nagy has been on a few rides with us over the years, and I guess you could say he's redefining what cyclists call a Century. This year Zoltan spearheaded the effort with the Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary out of New Jersey where he relocated several years ago. He actually started collecting bikes with the Germantown/Gaithersburg Jaycees at the turn of the century. Then he moved on and introduced the idea to the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek in Frederick, who is still collecting bikes today.
He was actually introduced to Keith Oberg almost exactly twenty years ago (LAST CENTURY) when he joined a group out of DC that signed up to load a container of bikes with Keith. That's when he and Keith partnered up and started collecting bikes before Bikes for the World even formed. Zoltan ended up serving on the Pedals for Progress board, an organization similar to BfW and still going strong today.
After Keith founded Bikes for the World in 2005 he and Zoltan formed a partnership between us and the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek and a dynasty was born. Before Zoltan even turned the reins over to another Rotarian in Frederick, the crew there had collected and donated 1,000 bikes to our program. Zoltan claims it took a while to turn the annual collection from a 'Zoltan Project' to a focal point of the club...but 1,000 bikes is nothing to sneeze at.
However, since Zoltan moved on, the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek has collected an additional 4,300 bikes! He credits Rotarians Dick Foot, Norm Birzer and Jean-Louis Lepage with creating the excitement that spread across the club ensuring the continued success of this impressive effort. But it was Zoltan who got the wheels turning. And the Rotarians are feuding and pointing fingers on who's responsible for all that bike enthusiasm!
Zoltan was a Tour-de-Force in the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. He established what has become a 15 year partnership. By his passion and commitment, Zoltan energized the Rotary Club and set the example for successive bicycle collection leaders in the club to this day.Richard Foot, Rotary Club of Carroll Creek
Shifting back to the Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary, this century, current day....their inaugural collection with us last weekend netted nearly 200 bikes. Zoltan compared the two clubs noting that this New Jersey crew was barely a quarter of the size of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. Clearly they make up for their numbers with enthusiasm. From the first day Zoltan introduced the idea they were stoked, and after a visit this summer with Keith they came out of the gate in a sprint.
Even before the collection day came, the group had 100 bikes on hand. Unfortunately while we had a large truck reserved to collect the bikes that Saturday, half the truck was promised to another group in New York that had just as many bikes. So it wasn't long before we had packed the 26 foot truck with another 100 bikes still on ground.
Zoltan volunteered to drive another rental truck down to DC after an exhausting day wrenching bikes. So down 95 came a BfW convoy transporting nearly an entire container of bikes! Zoltan and Keith then unloaded the truck by themselves. Because of the success of this collection we had to scramble in the warehouse. Taylor rallied to find a partner willing to take an unscheduled container of bikes last minute so we could clear our space for more bikes expected this week. These are always great problems to have.
BTW: those Rotarians up in Frederick...have already collected more than 250 bikes toward their 2020 collection!