Spin Cycles in Gibsons is making Christmas brighter for needy kids on the Coast by reconditioning used bikes and distributing them through the Bikes for Tykes program.
The program was developed in the U.S. and sees community members donate used bikes to a local bike shop, which then puts in the time and parts needed to make the bikes rideable, and a local agency distributes the bikes to kids who need them most.
Spin Cycles owners Elizabeth Quayle and JF Petit heard about the program years before they bought Spin Cycles in 2012.
“It was something we always wanted to do,” Quayle noted.
This year the bike shop was able to set up a partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development to distribute the bikes and the program was officially launched at the end of November.
Coasters are invited to drop off used kids’ bikes or small adult bikes to Spin Cycles (#101 - 1058 Gibsons Way) until Dec. 14.
Quayle said the community has already started to show their support of the project.
“A lot of people have even been coming when the store is closed and leaving the bikes. It’s kind of nice. We arrive every morning to open the shop and there’s three or four or five bikes sitting there,” Quayle said, noting the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
This year Spin Cycles will cover the cost of all the parts and mechanic time needed to fix the donated bikes, but in the future they hope to set up a non-profit society people can give to.
“There’s more to be done. Ultimately we want a non-profit organization that would be behind both this and Sprockids because we’ll be doing this with Sprockids as well,” Quayle said.
“So the non-profit’s mission would be to get more kids on more bikes, and that would allow us next year to raise some money because one of the things we’d like to do, for example, is also give a helmet with every bike.”
The Bikes for Tykes effort this year could cost the bike shop hundreds, but Quayle said it’s “not really that much” when you look at the value it brings.
“Most people can remember what it’s like as a kid to have a bike. It just gives you so much freedom. You can go further away from home than you could otherwise and go on adventures with your friends,” Quayle said.
“A bike to me is an ultimate gift for the kids because it does give them that fun, and also there’s the benefits of the exercise and of being outside and all the things that we keep hearing kids need to do more of. This is just a really great program and we’re happy to put our energy behind it.”
If you would like to help, drop off your used kids’ or small adult bikes to Spin Cycles before Dec. 14.