Green Lanes starts bike repair programs thanks to donation from ‘Green Gryphons’

ELORA – Green Lanes, the cycling and active transportation advocacy group, has two initiatives going on thanks to a donation from the Green Gryphons student group at Elora Public School.

The Green Gryphons had raised some money and wanted to do something with it that had to do with bikes, said John Scott, spokesperson for Green Lanes.

“We proposed a mobile bike fix-it cart, and they liked the idea,” Scott explained in an interview.

“So they gave us the money and we got the cart.”

With the $2,600, Green Lanes purchased the cart they call RICK, some tools, and they installed a bike pump at the school’s bike racks.

And with that, Green Lanes has started two programs – a free community fix-it program, and Re-bike, where donated bikes are repaired and given to new immigrants in the area.

The fix-it program has wrapped up until the fall, but Scott said volunteers ran the program on four weekends.

They rode the cart to public locations and gave free tune ups to anyone who stopped by. They set up outside Fraberts in Fergus, outside Elora Public School and twice at the Elora Farmers’ Market.

Scott said they fixed some 70 bikes at those four events, which demonstrates the demand for this type of event.

“There are bikes everywhere – they just need a tune up,” he said, adding the need for repairs is often what keeps people from using their bikes.

“If you’ve got a flat tire, you’re going to keep that bike in the garage.”

And the Re-bike program has already repaired and given 12 bikes to local newcomers. When possible, the groups also hands out bike helmets and locks.

“Some of these people don’t have cars, so a bike really increases their reach in the community,” Scott said.

“They feel pretty good to receive a bike and for some it really solves a transportation issue.”

But the real dream of Green Lanes is to have a fixed location where people can come to learn and then fix their bikes.

“There’s a fair amount of interest in this and I thank the Green Gryphons at Elora Public School. They were huge in making this happen,” Scott said.