Bike-building event to put discarded rubber back on road
IT’S a venture that combines cycling with recycling.
Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub, a non-profit, is set to hold the first of two events that will get more bikes on the road at the very time cycling has experienced a resurgence.
At “empty the fill” events (the first one takes place this weekend), volunteers collect discarded bikes from Winnipeg 4R depots and make them roadworthy. They sort, disassemble and reassemble the bikes, deliver them to volunteer builders and shops so they can be donated to people who need a set of wheels.
Executive director Kate Sjoberg said the rising popularity of cycling means there’s a greater opportunity to make bicycles and bicycle repairs more accessible to schools, non-profits and the greater community.
“Bikes are such a source of joy for so many,” she said.
“So, to be able to divert this waste from the landfills and make them really useful to communities that really want them, that’s really exciting.”
This weekend’s event involves parts collected at the Brady Landfill recycling depot.
To account for COVID-19 safety measures, some volunteers will take the bikes into their own homes to put together. Using this socially distanced system, the charity was able to fix almost 600 bikes last December during its annual Cycle of Giving event.
This weekend’s event will gear itself more towards children’s bikes, which will go to schools along with weekly giveaway events in different locations.
The shop has added events to its schedules, including pop-up bike repair stands and bike giveaways at pop-up COVID-19 testing sites.
WRENCH depends on volunteers, such as longtime core volunteer and bicycle advocate Dave Elmore.
Years ago, bicycle parts were wasted, but during his time, Elmore has been able to recycle the parts so they “find their way back into the hands of people who need them,” he said.