Watch above: a youth co-op has been busy over the last couple of months tuning up older bikes to be used again
SASKATOON – A non-profit Saskatoon organization is getting kids and adults into a bike shop and turning sweat into personal equity.
It took Austin Simons over two weeks to repair, refurbish and earn his first bike.
“It’s a long process, a long hard head ache process but after you get it done you can go ride around and have fun,” said Simons.
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Building a bike from the ground up is not something the 18-year-old ever thought he would be interested in, let alone accomplish.
Bridge City Bicycle Co-op provides bike maintenance and repair education for kids and adults.
“I think that there’s not a lot of opportunity in Saskatoon regardless of where you are to acquire these skills and knowledge,” said Megan Marcoux, Bridge City Bicycle Co-op president.
A continual flow of donated bikes comes through the shop and once road ready they’re distributed back into the community.
“The bike is a powerful social tool, it increases health, increases mobility and we see our role as increasing the access and thus the sustainability of cycling,” said Marcoux.
The organization has over 60 members. Many of them aren’t scared to get there hands dirty, restoring more bikes than the one they can take home.
“In Saskatoon, lots of people go out and steal bikes but this program provides a place you can just come and get a bike without having the criminal record,” said Simons.
Opportunities for drop-in shop use are Saturday’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with workshops Tuesday evenings.
The Bridge City Bicycle Co-op works in partnership with Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op coordinating the program.