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Recycle Bicycle program gives 40 bikes to deserving riders

Rotary Club says 20 volunteers helped fix and distribute bikes to help make cycling accessible to everyone.

Forty bikes are back on the trails, roads, and race tracks with deserving new owners, following Squamish’s Recycle Bicycle program. 

According to the Squamish Rotary Club, 80 bikes were donated during the weekend of World Bicycle Day, and half of those went home with families in need of a new set of wheels.

“The club is proud to support this program, to take this small step in environmental sustainability, and to ensure that anyone in Squamish who wants to ride a bike can do so,” said Vicki Haberl, president of the Rotary Club of Squamish, in a news release published on June 6.

The club, along with Under One Roof, hosted the event, which drew about 20 volunteers to collect, repair, and distribute bikes to kids and families throughout Squamish.

“There are so many benefits for our community from this program,” said Karen Berrisford, the program’s manager with Squamish Helping Hands and Under One Roof, in the release. 

“Not only does it provide the benefits of cycling to locals who cannot afford expensive new bikes; it just makes sense to re-use, re-cycle the bikes, create that circular economy, and keep bikes out of the landfill.”

The release said the program also got a thumbs up from Jeff Wint, sustainability co-ordinator at the District of Squamish. Wint is attributed as saying he commended the program for the “affordable option it provides for active transportation and carbon neutral transportation.” 

Some of the new bikes went home with new Canadian families from Syria and Ukraine.

Organizers also expressed appreciation to local businesses who crowned the happy riders with helmets and adorned their rides with bike parts and supplies, including Canadian Tire, Drop Bar Cycles, Corsa Cycles, and Tantalus Bike Shop. 

The club also praised the local Tim Hortons and Under One Roof kitchen for keeping volunteers fed and caffeinated.

John French, now a sitting municipal councillor, started the program back in 2007, but handed over the reins to Helping Hands in 2016.

Hundreds of bikes have been donated, repaired and given to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to a ride.

The Rotary Club of Squamish has also stepped in to assist with growing the program, and have announced that they intend to purchase a shipping container to provide proper bike storage, along with space for tools and bike parts. As the capacity expands, so too can the program’s ability to get used bikes fixed up and given new life, for kids and adults.

To donate to Recycle Bicycle visit squamishhelpinghands.ca/donate/. For more information, email info@shhs.ca.