Excess bikes to help Angel Tree

When the owners of Swicked Cycles appealed to the community for donations of used bikes, what they got in return was more than they bargained for.

A whopping 45 bikes poured into the store for the community’s less fortunate.

James Durand and his wife Chenoa have been running the Bikes for Kids program for six years – the last two years, it’s provided bikes for kids whose names are on the Angel Tree.

Each year, James and Chenoa put out the call to the community to donate their old bikes and the pair in turn tune the bikes, and do any repair work necessary free of charge. The bikes are then turned over to the Angel Tree and given to needy children at Christmastime.

“This year we got a huge response and we put the bikes together and we had more bikes than families,” James says.

“We’re trying to get rid of the excess because the community was extremely generous, which is great,” Chenoa says.

Those bikes will be sold off this Saturday at Swicked Cycles from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a reduced cost of $20 to $50. All of the proceeds will go towards this year’s Angel Tree which provides the community’s most vulnerable children – as identified by social agencies – with Christmas gifts and necessities.

“Typically, people are wanting to spend $100 to $150 for a kids bike, now they can get it for $50,” James says. “They’ve been tightened and fixed up so they’re all safe to ride.”

While the majority of the bikes are geared towards kids, there are bikes available for all skill levels and all ages.Through Bikes for Kids, James and Chenoa have provided roughly 200 bikes to the community.

“It’s a small community and we really wanted to give back,” James says. “It’s important to us that kids get to ride a bike. There are others who aren’t as fortunate as us and can’t afford a bike so we aimed our charitable efforts and funds at getting kids on bikes and it’s been pretty successful so far.”

Dawn Hamilton, coordinator of the Angel Tree, says the Angel Tree is fortunate to benefit from James and Chenoa’s philanthropy.

“What’s better than getting a bike for Christmas,” she says. “It’s just amazing for families who are really struggling and their kids want a new bike.”