Taking the brave first step of pulling both feet off the ground when you’re learning to cycle is never easy, but a Langford shop is helping to make the coming-of-age experience as easy as possible.
The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop at 1112 Goldstream Ave. in Langford offers a free kids’ bike exchange program, as well as free bike lessons for young learners.
It all started in 2015 when the shop received a donation of 50 bikes which were bound for the scrapyard.
“There were 25 kids bikes in there that were almost immaculate,” explained Rob ‘Bones’ Barron, co-owner of the shop. “At first we were donating them to the Cridge Centre, but then we were getting too many donations, so we decided there was more value in the bikes in the program rather than a one-time sale.”
Any bikes, trikes and scooters with wheels 18 inches and under are offered as available for exchange as kids outgrow their bikes.While the program is free, Barron said most of the time people offer a donation.
“Some people just can’t take things for free,” he said. “But if parents are coming in with a first child and have nothing to give we’re happy to donate.”
Along with the bike, Barron and his team, including co-owners George Louie and Rob Keats, teach the kids how to ride.
“The record is four seconds, followed by seven and 10 seconds,” Barron said. “A lot of the time kids know how to ride, but they need someone besides their parents to tell them they can do it.”
Over the years the Re-Buy-Cycle Shop has given away thousands of bikes, with an especially high season this year which saw 500 bikes go through between March and September. Some helmets are also available, either free or at a discounted rate.
Local residents and businesses continue to support the business with bike and bike part donations, so while the shop is usually good for stock it is always in need of bike repair volunteers.
“We see aboutsix to eight bike repairs per day,” Barron said.
At the end of the day, however, he feels like he’s done well if he can help kids feel confident on wheels.
“It’s awesome. Getting kids to peddle for the very first time, that’s the best part of the job.”
For more information you can visit rebuycycleshop.ca
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