Oak Bay police build youth confidence with bike donation

Oak Bay police build youth confidence with bike donation

BikeWorks program in Duncan

The unclaimed bikes in Oak Bay tend to be higher quality than those plucked from the blackberry brambles in the Cowichan Valley, says Dave Ehle of U-Fix-It BikeWorks. The Oak Bay Police Department routinely donates unclaimed bikes not worthy of auction to the Duncan program.

“We are a youth outreach program that we disguised as a bike shop. We figured the kids we really want to connect with are not going to come out to a youth outreach program,” says Ehle.

Sgt. Rob Smith says Oak Bay Police Department winds up a handful of bikes pulled from Bowker Creek, or chained to a fence for weeks that aren’t worth taking to auction.

“We end up with dozens of them every year and they need a good home,” Smith says, adding BikeWorks is a good program as “they teach young people how to fix them.”

Through BikeWorks, youth have the opportunity to earn a bike, each worth a value of volunteer hours.

“We use the time that they’re doing their volunteer work to teach them how to build and fix bikes and take bikes apart,” Ehle says.

The program looks to build four things in the young people: a sense of belonging, independence, generosity and mastery

“We really deliberately focus on all four of those,” Ehle says.

Ehle figures the community at large doesn’t even realize it’s an outreach, which is ideal for their purposes.

People from the community come in with a bike they need fixed and someone doing volunteer time can take the bike and help the customer.

“Then we help the kid who’s helping the community member. That way the kid learns and the community member and the kid get to know each other little bit,” Ehle says, adding it creates key community connections between generations. “They’re friends now.”

The young people “become an asset to their community. They become valuable in themselves.”

The value of donated bicycles range over the 13 years of the program from $3,000 mountain bikes to the freebies fished from the forest.

RELATED: Oak Bay police introduce bike registry

ALSO READ: ‘Cyclangelo’ rolls out fresh tracks (video)

RELATED: Veterans Motorcycle Club donates to local youth program

“The ones from Oak Bay are really, really good bikes. We have two streams, there’s bikes that come in and they’re just for parts, and others that get fixed up,” Ehle says. “They give the kids an opportunity to work on bikes that are a little bit nicer than our blackberry patch bikes. We routinely get people come in with five bikes that they’ve hauled out of the blackberry patch,”

“If it is bike, could be a bike or was a bike we will happily take it.”

The other bonus is a road trip north. Seven kids came down Island to meet the officers for the handoff.

“It let us bring down some of our kids, who are not on friendly terms with our local police, and make that connection,” Ehle says.

Oak Bay also takes the better shape bikes and partners with the Canadian Coast Guard to donate them to remote Inuit villages, another partnership BikeWorks is happy to be part of. Last year, they fixed up a handful of Oak Bay-found bikes and handed them off to the Coast Guard program.

“They can pass that along to people who are significantly more remote, and [the youth] connect with the police and the Coast Guard,” Ehle says.

While OBPD happily hands over the donations, they’d be more pleased to hand off to the rightful owner.

“Report your bike when it goes missing,” Smith says.

He has two nice youth bikes in storage right now, since the 2017 Victoria marathon, with helmets and all.

Contact OBPD to report a missing bike at 250-592-2424.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Oak Bay Police Department

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

Just Posted

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Architect’s rendering of the 7 Erskine Lane development, showing the view from the east and south. (VDA Architecture Ltd. image)
View Royal green-lights residential development on Erskine Lane

First of two developments near Victoria General Hospital will provide 71 housing units

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

A family of ducks that lives near Saanich Municipal Hall recently welcomed 11 ducklings and took them for a swim in the koi pond outside the offices. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Pair of ducks make Saanich Municipal Hall a nursery for 11 hatchlings

Family of ducks spent time in koi pond before heading down to Swan Lake

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Most Read