"Giving back their light": After the flames in Lahaina

"Giving back their light": After the flames in Lahaina

Rising from the ashes

Can we ship a Bunch Bike to Hawa'i'? 

Answer: Almost never. 

If disaster strikes: Can we ship it AGAIN?

Answer: If it's to make the light shine again for a family that lost almost everything in the catastrophic Lahaina wildfires - yes, absolutely!

Read on for Aubrey's story.

"We don't ship to Hawai'i"

That's what we always say. 

This question comes up often - because a Bunch Bike is an amazing, lifechanging way to get around on an island or enjoy the beach. 

But shipping our bikes to Hawai'i is prohibitively complicated and expensive. It requires a huge custom-constructed wooden crate which costs around $800 all by itself. The crated bike must then be trucked to California, airfreighted to Hawai'i, then trucked again from there to the customer's home at a total freight cost of nearly $3,000. There's no way our $199 flat rate shipping can cover those expenses! 

So our longer answer is - technically, we CAN ship to Hawai'i.

We've done it a handful of times.

But it will cost almost as much as the bike itself.

And no, we can't accept returns!

One mom's dream

Aubrey first contacted us back in January 2023. She was dreaming of biking with her kids - twin girls, then aged six, plus a new baby - but hadn't been able to find any local option that would accommodate her growing family. 

We brainstormed other setups, but given her family's needs, it looked like we were going to have to find a way to get a Bunch Bike to her - or give up! 

The Bunch Bike is already a big investment for most families - for Aubrey too. Doubling the price with shipping expenses wasn't really an option. But she wasn't ready to give up on her dream of biking to the beach with all three of her girls. She planned to start saving up, we agreed to keep in touch and see if we could work something out over time. 

The perfect moment

Just a few weeks after we met with Aubrey, the stars aligned. We were in the process of transitioning from the 2.0 to the 3.0 bike model and had a 2.0 demo bike in the warehouse that was ready for a new home.

We could offer this lightly used bike to Aubrey at a significant discount - with the savings helping to defray the additional shipping costs. She decided to forgo their usual vacation travel in order to put together enough money to make her family's bike dreams come true. We ordered that custom crate and got ready to ship a Bunch Bike to paradise!

Love at first sight

The Bunch life was just as Aubrey had dreamed - cruising to the beach, enjoying the gorgeous weather and views and just spending time outside together. 

Aubrey and twins in their bunch bike

She joined our Bunch community online, participated in several of our Bunch events like #LoveLetters and even got her twins matching Bunch Bikes Minis as a birthday present! 

When the bike eventually did need a warranty repair, the logistics were a little tricky but we were able to get the needed parts out to their local bike shop and keep the family rolling. Mission accomplished! 

Disaster strikes

In August 2023, horrific wildfires erupted on Maui, centered in Lahaina where Aubrey's family lives. Her family was evacuated to safety, but their home burned to the ground - with all their belongings inside. They lost everything - the house, the car, the kids' toys and clothing, and their Bunch Bike too.

Wreckage of Aubrey's home and car

In the ensuing displacement, Aubrey also lost her job. She put together a GoFundMe to help support her family during the long and uncertain wait for disaster relief - and many in the Bunch fam donated to help out. 

Aubrey and her family weren't able to even visit the site until months later. In November, when they searched through the wreckage, they found the twisted remains of their Bunch Bike - and the girls' Bunch Bike Minis. 

Wreckage of twin Bunch Bike minis

At that moment, Aubrey became determined to get her family rolling again. 

"My girls are not the same" 

Aubrey reached out to Bunch Bikes to let us know she was determined to bring back her family's bike adventures. Her girls were still suffering from the trauma of the fire and its aftermath. "I want to give them some light," she wrote. 

Her kids had grown, and they were considering adding a dog as well. She decided it was time to upsize to the Preschool model. Our team immediately began keeping our eyes open for a demo, open box or discounted bike we might be able to provide for her. 

A Bunch surprise

When Bunch families donated to the GoFundMe, we had promised to match those donations toward a future bike purchase for Aubrey. But when the time came, we decided to do something bigger... a lot bigger. 

The bike was a priority for Aubrey, but we knew she had many other expenses to get her family back on their feet and we didn't want to add any extra costs. Our entire warehouse team was moved by her story and wanted to do all we could to get her family rolling again as soon as possible.

We decided to gift Aubrey the entire shipping process - crate, freight and all, at a total cost of well over $3,000. We also decked out her bike with a suite of sweet accessories and upgrades - and a new Bunch Bike Mini for the twins!

New ride, new joys

Aubrey's new Bunch Bike Preschool finally arrived in Lahaina in early February. She texted us right away: "It just arrived today! But wanted to say thank you before the day ends! The joy to the girls heart is beyond explanation! Mahalo Nui Loa!" 

Aubrey and her kids in Preschool Bunch Bike

She sent pictures too. Seeing her girls' joyful smiles is the best thank you we could ever desire!

We're so glad and grateful to get to be a part of wonderful family memories like this one. And we're proud we could help bring some joy back to Aubrey's family - when they needed it most.

Mahalo to our whole Bunch fam for helping to make this magic happen!


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