Due to the actions of heartless thieves, some underprivileged Squamish youth won't be able to explore Squamish by mountain bike this summer.
Sometime in the last two weeks of April, four Specialized Hot Rocks mountain bikes were stolen from a concealed, locked storage unit in downtown Squamish.
The bikes belonged to an organization that aims to provide children from low-income and disadvantaged families the opportunity to embark on specially-designed mountain bikes tours throughout the summer months.
The Trips for Kids - Squamish program is a non-profit organization developed to allow kids to experience, appreciate, enjoy and grow from the benefits of outdoor recreation in the area.
"For a non-profit, volunteer-based organization, to have those bikes stolen is pretty crummy," said Trips for Kids President and coordinator Ratna Das.
Trips for Kids - Squamish was originally given five mountain bikes by the national chapter of the program in Vancouver, and had purchased an additional seven bikes with the help of donations from the public. Now, with the loss of the four bikes, a total of eight children won't be able to experience the group's planned excursions. Trips for Kids had two mountain bike adventures planned for the summer, for a total of 24 children.
"It's a shame that kids will now have to suffer because of this," she said. "Now there are eight kids who won't be able to participate this year."
Trips for Kids, established in Squamish in 2002, hopes to expand the program to include other outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing.
"If people in the community would like to volunteer or donate money towards the purchase of four new bikes, that would be hugely appreciated," said Das.
The Squamish RCMP have been notified of the theft and a police report was filed, but they do not have any clues or suspects in the case. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the stolen mountain bikes, or if you would like to know about Trips for Kids, please contact Ratna Das at 604-892-1400.