Pedals for the People program cycles community forward

Pedals for the People program cycles community forward

A person refurbishes a bike at Our Community Bikes.
A bike gets refurbished at Our Community Bikes.

What we’ve learned in the last year or so is just how important being part of the community is.

For Linda Wilson, it’s having a bicycle to buy groceries — and she does so thanks to the PEDAL Society’s Pedals for the People program.

Linda, who lives in White Rock, rides her bike twice a week to the Walmart at 24 Avenue and 160 Street in Surrey to do her grocery shopping.

She says by riding her bike, she’s able to save on bus fare and carry more groceries than she’d be able to otherwise.

“By riding my bike, I don’t have to pay for a bus fare to get groceries,” Linda says.

For now, she’s using only a backpack to carry her groceries. Linda’s ordered a rack for the back of the bike and panniers so she can carry more.

“I want to get a bag that goes on both sides as well as on the top. With that and my backpack, that will be fine for my groceries.”

Linda picking up her bike from Our Community Bikes.
Linda picking up her bike from Our Community Bikes.

Linda is thankful for her bike from the Pedals for the People program, run out of the Our Community Bikes bike shop in Vancouver.

When she went to pick her bike from the shop, she was able to sample how you can easily combine cycling with transit to travel further than you normally would.

She made her way to Broadway–City Hall Station with her bike to ride the Canada Line, which has a dedicated spot for bikes in every car. At Bridgeport Station, she transferred to the 351 White Rock Centre bus where she used the bus bike rack  for the first time.

Linda admits to having some challenges with the bike rack, but just like how the Pedals for the People program was able to lend her a hand — a helpful bus operator was there to lend a hand.

The program provides quality bicycles to Metro Vancouver residents in need of affordable transportation. Staff and volunteers at Our Community Bikes refurbish donated bikes, give them a full overhaul to ensure safety, optimal performance, and ability to weather BC riding conditions. Bikes also come with lights, locks and helmets.

In 2020, the Pedals for the People program, with support from TransLink, 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.

TransLink provided funding to refurbish 100 bikes and donated 21 bikes to the Pedals for the People program after initiating a clean-out to remove abandoned and discarded bikes from our Bike Parkades, which are for day use only. Ten bikes from the clean-out were used for parts, while 11 bikes were refurbished so recipients like Linda could get back on the road.

A pickup truck full of bikes for the Pedals for People program.
A pickup truck full of bikes for the Pedals for the People program.

Refurbishing the bikes provides valuable training opportunities for bike mechanics who are in high demand in the cycling community.

2020 brought a welcome surge in cycling popularity with many new cyclists taking advantage of two wheels as a great socially distanced mode of transportation, as well to stay healthy and keep on top of mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tip! Consider servicing your bike now while it’s less busy at bike shops. We anticipate many people will be looking to get out on their bikes once the weather improves.

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 the 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).

Learn more at