MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — At the beginning of the year, the Atlantic Beach Police Department had a problem with too many abandoned bicycles. 

Officers had been collecting the bicycles they found around the town and storing them in the department’s evidence room because they didn’t want the salt air to ruin them.

The number of bikes became so overwhelming that officers needed 30 minutes to clear out the bikes before they could do evidence work. 

That led the department put out a plea on Facebook: People needed to collect their bikes or they would be taken to landfills and destroyed. 

The day before the bikes were to be destroyed, a group called the All Nation’s Cafe, a group that works with J1 Visa students, saw News13’s report and offered to take the abandoned bikes and repurpose them. 

During the spring break and summer season, it is common for students on work and travel visas, or J1 visas, to come to work in Myrtle Beach. All Nations Cafe is a place where the students can come together and meet other students just like them. 

Christy Morris, the director of All Nation’s Cafe, explained that these students do not bring cars with them to the Grand Strand to get to and from work, so the group provides them with bicycles they use as their main transportation for the whole summer. 

“[The students] rent the bikes on our cafe nights,” Morris said. “The students will come if their bikes have a flat tire or their brakes are a little bit loose. We have a team that will fix those.”

Atlantic Beach police said not all of the bikes were in great condition, so All Nation’s Cafe is making sure all the bikes are getting a second life. 

“Our bike team is going through those now and deciding which bikes are still good to use and which bikes are just gonna be used for parts, and they take those parts and they rebuild bikes,” Morris said. 

Along with being a place where international students can gather and get transportation, the All Nation’s Cafe is teaching the students the rules of the road in the United States. 

“We created a safety orientation program, mainly to convey safety features about what they need to do or not do in Myrtle Beach,” Morris said. “Bike safety, you can imagine their rules are different in their city, so to learn our rules, so they’re careful. There always are some bike accidents because we have tourists here, also.”

On a spring break or summer season, the All Nation’s Cafe welcomes thousands of students from more than 50 different countries. 

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Taylor Maresca is the weekend morning anchor and morning reporter at News13. She joined the team in June 2022 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Taylor is from Houston. Follow Taylor on Twitter and read more of her work here.