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Ron Cotner, who has lived on and served the Pine Ridge Reservation for fifteen years, is the contact person for Without Reservations. On each trip, Ron’s horse barn is temporarily converted into a distribution hub. Ron not only helps with the bikes but also helps the Lakota people practice their culture. The Lakota know Ron’s place—5 acres of property which was given to him near the village of Wanblee—is a safe place for them. It has become the place to stay for Without Reservations on trips to the reservation.

The grassroots development of Without Reservations eventually lead to the decision for Calvin Church to officially designate the project as one of its mission points. A committee of about a dozen church members meet monthly to discuss concerns, organize bike repairs, plan for trips, and envision and implement new goals for mission outreach.

In the summer of 2023 construction began on a repair shop on Ron Cotner’s property. The building will go a long way in providing for the needs of bike repairs between visits, especially with the training of residents in bike repair.

The mission of Without Reservations continues to evolve as they hope to expand their reach to other parts of the reservation. The other side of Without Reservations’ mission, beyond getting the people of western PA involved in fixing bikes to take to South Dakota, is to provide bikes for communities here at home. By teaching bike repair, more families and children can enjoy biking together.


Glen Sanders explains, “Repairing bikes in Pennsylvania and transporting them to South Dakota doesn’t seem cost effective, and it really isn’t. This mission is more than bikes. It is about healing relationships between cultures. It’s about healing relationships in communities in western Pennsylvania. Providing a bike that takes hours to rebuild teaches new skills to the volunteers. It builds relationships between those volunteers and it provides an opportunity to show love and create hope for everyone that gets involved. The cost is worth it.”


Ron Cotner has opened his property to Without Reservations.


After being unloaded, in preparation for distribution, the bikes are organized by size in Ron’s barn.


Lakota children with their new bikes with Ron Cotner’s barn in the background. 

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