RCMP representative handing over bike to Sooke Rotarian Roger Temple.

RCMP representative handing over bike to Sooke Rotarian Roger Temple.

Big wheels keep on turning

Bicycle auction is on of the popular events at Rotary Auction & Spring Fair

300 local bike riders … and counting

Picture a parade of 300 bicycle riders on Sooke Road, both youngsters and young-at-hearts.  That’s the number of bikes sold to the Sooke community over the past 15 years at the Rotary Auction & Spring Fair.

The local RCMP donates most of the bikes annually.

“We take in anywhere from 10-50 bikes per year, either as found property, seized or donated,” said RCMP Sooke Detachment Commander, S/Sgt. Jeff MacArthur.

If the bikes cannot be reunited with their rightful owner, Sooke Rotary gets the call to retrieve them for the annual charity auction.

“The Sooke RCMP is pleased to partner with the Rotary Club for this important fund raising event,” McArthur added.

He noted other detachments, such as West Shore RCMP, donate their found bikes to Langford Fire Department’s Ride-A-Long Program.

Rotarian Roger Temple has personally rebuilt 242 of these bikes in nine years. He explains the bikes often arrive in poor condition — bent wheels, seized gears, rusty chains, and faulty breaks. Temple spends approximately two to three hours per bike to ensure each is fully operational and safe. He also notes buyers receive a 50 per cent off coupon for labour at Sooke Mountain Cycle, should they want a once-over from the pros.

The auction this Saturday will see 32 bikes up for sale. Each is auctioned to the highest bidder, so the prices vary but Temple estimates the average value at $60-100. He notes one special bike this year, an electric bike that he hopes may bring $250.

“It’s running and holds a good charge” he said, but adds “it may not look perfect, but you’re also not spending $1,700 on a new one.  We will take whatever we can get for it.”

Temple estimates the bike sale earns roughly $2,000 per year for the Club, with the funds supporting youth leadership conferences, adventure projects, and scholarships. As a long-term sponsor of these projects, Temple said, “It was nice to know that the time I was spending on these bikes was going to these youth programs that I was helping administer.”

He agreed that it is a little sad the prior owners lost their bikes, but at least they are repurposed for a happy new owner and also benefit a good cause. He also notes that every year or two an owner is reunited with their stolen bike – sometimes with a “finder’s fee” donation to the auction.

The Rotary Auction & Spring Fair is at SEAPARC this Saturday. The bike bidding starts at 10  a.m., along with the silent auction and trade fair. The bike sale ends at 4:30 p.m., the silent auction and exhibits close at 5 p.m, and the famous live auction starts at 6 p.m. (NEW TIME! Not at 7 p.m. as in prior years).  The event offers live music and food all day, with a wine and beer garden opening at 4 p.m.. As well, the Vancouver Island Placer Mining Association will lead gold panning demonstrations, in observing 150 YEARS OF GOLD in the Sooke region. All proceeds from the event support Sooke Rotary’s community and youth projects!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

The West Shore Community Response Network (CRN) is urging awareness around National Fraud Prevention Month, so residents can especially help protect older and vulnerable adults against fraud. (Photo by Joshua Hoehne/Upsplash)
March dialed in as National Fraud Prevention Month

West Shore Community Response Network urges citizens to protect seniors against phone, email scams

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read