Posted by Editoress on 12/3/14
While the elves are busy in Santa's workshop, technicians at Kelowna Cycle are busy at their winter workshop on Sutherland Avenue repairing donated bikes. The bikes are destined for local charities and for young students who cannot afford a bike at the nearby Raymer Elementary School.
"All of our refurbished bikes go back to our local community," says owner Patrick Rosen, whose donation program is now going into its fifth year. "With snow on the ground our technicians use this time to get donated bikes road ready for when the biking season in the spring. The staff at Kelowna Cycle believe a bike is not only a great form of transportation, but it enables employment, education, exercise and peace of mind - but most of all, freedom."
The inspiration for the program began back in 2010 when Rosen noticed more kids were walking than riding at the school's spring Bike Rodeo. "I realized that not every family can afford bikes," he says. "Riding is very liberating, it is exhilarating and I truly want all kids to feel this."
Kelowna Cycle has put a call out to the community for donations of old bikes. All donations are accepted; technicians refurnish those they can and will salvage parts from those beyond repair. Donated bikes will go to the Kelowna's Women's Shelter, Kelowna Gospel Mission and the Kelowna Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
"We are so grateful for the support of Kelowna Cycle," says Kelowna Women's Shelter executive director Karen Mason. "In a typical year, more than 225 women and their children find a safe place to stay at the Kelowna Women's Shelter, and transportation is often an issue, so having bikes for them to use is a wonderful addition to the services we offer."
"The bike program has been a blessing for many of our clients," says Kelowna Gospel Mission executive director Randy Benson. "Owning a bike offers opportunities and can enables someone to get groceries or to class, or for those looking for work, make it easier for them to get around to possible employers."
More than 50 bikes have been given to those in need since the program began.
Locally-owned and operated, Kelowna Cycle carries a range of road, mountain, BMX, cruisers, and comfort and hybrid cycles, along with biking accessories. In the winter months, the stores include Nordic equipment with the latest and most technology advanced cross-country ski equipment from Atomic, Oneway, Alpina and Peltonen. Kelowna Cycle is the oldest bike shop in Kelowna, originally built and opened in 1948.
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