james-wilsonObsession Bikes on the bottom of Lonsdale Street has earned a reputation for selling quality bicycles over the years, and for providing fine service and repairs. One thing it is not known for, but should be, is its Bikes for Tykes program that owner James Wilson has been running for years. It deserves community recognition and support.

The Tykes project started 20 years ago in Florida.  In the 29 years since the inception of BFT, they have given away over 19,000 bicycles, free of charge, to children and adults in their community. BFT accepts used bicycles, bicycle parts in good condition, and new bicycles and helmets. There are now Canadian versions of the project in Calgary and Montreal. A bicycle gives a child his or her first test of true independence, self-reliance, self-esteem and a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The Tykes organization is committed to reducing the number of bicycles in landfills by collecting damaged bicycles and parts that would otherwise be discarded so that they can be repaired by volunteer staff and re-purposed for kids in need.

Bikes for Tykes is a ‘green’ initiative, refurbishing gently-used and pre-loved bicycles to create a renewable resource from the millions of bicycles that are unused, abandoned, or discarded in overburdened landfills. There are hundreds of thousands of bicycles that are sent to landfills each year, some of them almost new. These will stay in our landfill forever. Better they go to a child in need and make North Vancouver even greener.

Here’s how it works. People with a bike to donate can phone the store and offer information to the staff.  They will ascertain whether the bike is the right size for a child, in reasonable shape for repair, and whether they can store it at their location on Lower Lonsdale.  Each year they partner with Family Services of the North Shore and other care agencies to help place previously loved kids bikes to under-privileged kids. To date they have placed over 100 bikes every year since 2005 to local kids. Every November they start collecting and then the staff starts fixing them up to serve as Christmas gifts. Give them a call and bring a smile to the face of a North Shore kid this Christmas. Phone 604-985-2213.

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By Staff Writer

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