It was September 21, 1984, and the City of Penticton had turned lost and found bike duties over to the Penticton Training Center.
But that’s only the beginning of the story. Today, 40 years later, the city’s relationship with The Bike Shop, led by what is now the Penticton and District Society for Community Living, continues to operate and refurbish bikes.
The Industrial Avenue Bike Shop is a thriving center of activity, overseen by Francois Paquet and assisted by four PDSCL clients, who have the opportunity to learn a skill, practice it, and get paid for it .
“Most of our bikes come to us through donations, you know the kids left home – maybe 15 years ago now – and people are cleaning out their garages and the bikes are still there,” Paquet says, who worked for the PDSCL. for three years after a life in the bike business, including running his own shop in Ucluelet. “And we have older people who are upgrading, buying e-bikes, and so they’re donating to us.”
If they are in good condition, they are refreshed and put up for sale; irreparable bikes are disassembled for parts, which can be sold, then the remaining pieces are recycled, down to tires.
On Monday mornings, there are usually a fair number of bikes left outside the front door for Paquet and his team to run through and assess their condition. This is also when bikes without papers are put in isolation for 90 days.
Donations, however, aren’t the only source of inventory for Paquet and his crew. The City of Penticton’s By-Law Department is also providing more stock from bikes they were unable to return to owners.
Lost or stolen bike?
The first step is to make sure you register your bike with Project 529, if you haven’t already.
“We encourage everyone to sign up with Project 529 and register all their bikes so they can return them if we come across them,” says Tina Mercier, Claims Services Manager. “It’s a very useful tool that allows us to collect and return the bikes.”
But if you haven’t yet registered your bike and it’s stolen, you must report it to the RCMP immediately so that it can be placed in the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) database.
Claims Services manages recovered bikes through CPIC and if no match is found, they hold the bike for 30 days.
If you have lost your bike or it has been stolen and you think City Services may have it, you can call 250-490-2440 and, once you have provided a detailed description of your property, arrangements will be made to return it.
The City has limited capacity to store bicycles, so municipal services keep them for 30 days and then hand them over to the PDSCL.
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