The Gabriola Green Bikes Project, brainchild of long time island resident Hank Sirlin, is being nudged towards fruition by Sirlin himself, Victor Anthony, and the good people of Gabriola.
The idea is to put a free bicycle under the butt of every Gabriolan or visitor who wants to use one for an hour, an afternoon, or a weekend. GGBP is modelled after other public bicycle initiatives around North America, most notably the Yellow Bikes Project in Portland, Oregon. What GGBP is not, is a giveaway program. These are public bikes, intended for public use, and are not to be taken home and used by one individual exclusively.
The goal is to have 100 bicycles in sound mechanical condition (read: safe), painted and distributed all around the island. For the time being, the depot will be the goat barn at The Commons, and that’s where you should drop off a bike if you have one to donate to the project.
How can you help? Aside from more bikes, the program could use a little cash for parts (inner tubes, brake cables, etc.) to get the bicycles already donated up and running. Also, anyone with basic mechanical skills and some free time is most welcome to volunteer.
Lastly, start using these bikes as soon as you see them around. You can’t miss them. They’ll be painted bright green; tires, handlebars and all.
As Hank says, “Every bike in motion means one less car on the road.” But remember, please ride responsibly. These aren’t racing machines. Think tooling down to The Village to pick up some scones, as opposed to hurtling down Brickyard hill.
To help out or make suggestions, please email victorsez2 at gmail dot com. Also, thanks to The Commons for the space, to Village Hardware for the donation of paint, and to everyone who has kindly donated bicycles thus far. Much appreciated.
Now, let’s get this show on the road!