Oak Bay dads inundated Victoria’s 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre with bikes for Christmas.
On Dec. 12 the Spandads, a local cycling club comprised of dads who like to wear spandex and ride bikes, delivered a truckload of bicycles to 1Up.
Trevor Tuckwell, an administrative co-ordinator with 1Up, was ecstatic.
“They came by in a big cube van full of bikes, all the way from little push bikes right up to full-on mountain bikes with double disk brakes,” he said. “Those will go out to all sorts of kids this Christmas, and even after Christmas just because there’s so many.”
The Spandads have only formally existed for about a year and a half. According to Alec Johnston, one of main Spandads behind the bike drive, they’ve always known they would do at least philanthropic event every year.
“I think one of the reasons we decided to work with 1Up was we thought that it would be good to raise their profile, I don’t think they get a lot of support or exposure compared to some other charities,” Johnston said. “Also, about 15 per cent of their clientele are single dads. As a group of cycling dads, we thought it’d be fun to support other dads.”
The success of this year’s bike drive surprised the Spandads. Johnston said they hopped for a couple dozen bikes, but ended up gathering more than 100. One of their sponsors, Oak Bay Bicycles, volunteered to help tune up the bikes and ensure they were in safe working order.
Spandad Tye Spicer was really impressed with how the bikes came out. “A lot of the stuff we collected you wouldn’t want to give people, especially not as a Christmas gift,” Spicer said. “They took a lot of raw material that wasn’t in great shape, and turned them into bikes that a lot of children and families will be really excited to get over the holidays.”
The bikes collected by the Spandads are going to find new life around the globe.
“We’ve got 45 bikes that are going to 1up, and about another 50 are going to Bicycles for Humanity,” Johnston said.
Bicycles for Humanity is a global charity that provides bicycles to developing countries. Trevor Tuckwell is confident the bikes that remain in Victoria will make a big impact, noting 1Up has already started distributing them. He said 1Up keeps wish-lists of harder to come by items, and bicycles are on them.
“This is a time when we’re inundated with bikes of all sizes, so we’re able to fulfill those wish-lists very quickly. So all those kids, and a couple single parents, will get wishes to come true before Christmas,” Tuckwell said.
By the end of January, Tuckwell is confident all the bicycles will have found new homes.