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‘Breaking down barriers’: New Victoria lending library offers kids bikes, not books

‘Breaking down barriers’: New Victoria lending library offers kids bikes, not books

James Coates, bike education coordinator, displays two of the balance bikes available at Capital Bike’s new lending library. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff) A Victoria non-profit is…

Saturday, Mar 12

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James Coates, bike education coordinator, displays two of the balance bikes available at Capital Bike’s new lending library. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff) A Victoria non-profit is hoping to make cycling even more accessible with its new bike lending library for kids.

Like a regular library, Capital Bike’s setup allows families to place holds on and take out bikes. If, after their one month lending period, there are no new holds on the bike, families can renew the loan and keep their kids cruising.

Bike education coordinator James Coates said the idea was passed on to them by a woman in Quadra Village who had been lending bikes from her home informally. It was a perfect fit for Capital Bike, which already runs programs to get more families and kids into the cycling community.

Coates said it’s incredible how quickly kids can pick up the skill when given the opportunity.

“Kids can go from never having ridden a bike before to getting on a balance bike, to peddling a regular bike in 90 minutes,” he said. But, buying multiple several-hundred-dollar bikes for kids as they grow can be cost-prohibitive for many families, Coates said. The lending library is free for Capital Bike members and by donation for everyone else.

READ ALSO: Bike parking improvements expected to roll out in downtown Victoria soon

Heather Chapple was the first person to use the library on Tuesday (March 8) to pick up a pedal bike for her four-year-old daughter Zoey to try out.“She was very excited,” Chapple said. […]

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