The Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance is aiming to make cycling more accessible for people in Renfrew County.

They are launching a bike bank program that will collect used bikes, repair them, and get them out to those who need them. Director-at-large Ish Theilheimer says the idea is fairly new, with board members proposing it late last year. They hope to have the bike bank up and running by the start of the season, with the help of Yantha Cycles in Pembroke. Theilheimer says the Alliance is a group of bike enthusiasts across the county that want to see people get on bikes. Although there is a global shortage of bike parts, volunteers will be able to scavenge parts, and Theilheimer says while it may be more difficult to source parts, he’s not concerned with getting donations. Many people have already donated, including Upper Ottawa Valley OPP, who donated 34 unclaimed bikes from their warehouse.

For those wishing to donate, volunteer or claim a bike, visit their website or email BIKEBANK@ovcata.ca.