Getting back in the saddle: How the PEDAL Society is helping the community 

Getting back in the saddle: How the PEDAL Society is helping the community 

When Phillip Arsenault was laid off last year, he didn’t know what life had in store for him. COVID-19 kept taking its toll on thousands like him as unemployment rose across the country and around the world.

As Canadians stayed home to help flatten the curve, many also chose to take advantage of the beautiful Canadian outdoors in the summer.

Unfortunately for Phillip, a cycling trip in the summer resulted in an accident where he broke his collar bone, and damaged his bike beyond repair.

As a member of HUB Cycling, he learned about the PEDAL Society’s Pedals for the People program, which improves access to complete bicycles, parts, accessories, and service for those who experience barriers to affordable forms of transportation.

With support from TransLink, the program provided a total of 83 bikes to community members and more than 100 bikes were refurbished. Another 121 people, who face financial barriers, received free and subsidized parts or labour to help keep them on the move. Phillip was a recipient of a refurbished bike that was recovered from a TransLink Bike Parkade clean-out to remove abandoned and discarded bikes.

Phillip felt he met the requirements for assistance from the program and got in touch with them. Before he knew it, he was the recipient of a bike from the program,

“I cycle frequently and use the bike for commuting, exercise, and leisure and I’m able to continue riding now that my doctor has cleared me to resume after my surgery,” he says, adding that he’s thankful to the PEDAL Society and Our Community Bikes for all the great work they do.

Did you know there are 2.2 bikes per household in Canada? Have a dormant bike or parts you no longer need? The Pedals for People program is currently seeing a surge in demand for donated bikes and is in need of adult-sized bikes without rust or steel wheels.

They’re accepting donations of bicycles, parts, accessories, and tools to put in the hands of those who cannot afford a new bike. A tax receipt may be provided for individual items valued at $100 or more.

Donations can be dropped off during regular business hours at Our Community Bikes (2429 Main Street in Vancouver).

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