Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Good Cause - looking for bikes for people...

Hi everyone.  I'm writing on here so that more people will hopefully see this.  I'm hoping to find a few bikes that people are no longer using but are still useable or serviceable to become reliable.

Some of you have heard about this from me before - I've noticed a need for good reliable bikes for patients at my hospital (the majority are outpatients - not hospitalized).  One of my key messages to all my patients is that exercise can be AS BENEFICIAL as medication in terms of treating depression and anxiety (there are studies that show this in a dramatic way).  Exercise  is also very helpful for other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.  Well, as you may know, many of these people can not afford to purchase their own sports equipment, but lots of people that I've seen would use cycling as a means of transportation as well as good exercise if they had the resources.  

So, I'm trying to find bicycles that still have some life left in them - I'm hoping to find a variety of sizes, primarily mountain bikes or hybrids for ease of use.  I would hope they would be fairly reliable - not everyone is as adept at bicycle repair as those of us that are passionate about cycling, so reliability is a big plus.

This has already started, and there are a few patients that now have bikes to ride.  I'm hoping to expand it - think of it as a miniature "Bike Town" for those of you that read Bicycling magazine.  Immediate needs are for a very large bicycle to fit a person that is roughly 6'6" - this would be used for primary transportation as well.  The other need I'm aware of is for a cruiser-type bike - an adult bike with a coaster brake.  This would be for someone around 5'8" or so, but those bikes are a lot more flexible in sizing, I imagine.

Anyway, just wanted to get that out there, if anyone has a bike they no longer need.  If it is something that has significant worth, there would be an option to have one of the LBS's in Winnipeg provide an assessment (I don't know how they feel about that, I haven't asked, but I suspect when they know it is for a good cause then a bike shop owner won't mind taking a quick look at a bike to give a good estimation of worth and writing it down).  My understanding is that if this is done on the shop's letterhead, or some way to identify it as legitimate, then we may be able to obtain a tax receipt for the estimated value.  No guarantees, but I believe this will be an option.  It would be a good idea to have the serial number written on the estimate if going this route, I would think.

So that's it - hopefully this will drum up some awareness out there.  Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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