Calgary bike shop makes cycling affordable and accessible in Forest Lawn

Adam Rhind used to fix old bikes in his apartment bathtub to minimize the mess.

So when it came to naming his business, now located along International Avenue in Forest Lawn, it was a no-brainer.

Bathtub Bikes is a community bike shop that takes bikes destined for landfill, or sitting for decades covered in cobwebs in the back of someone’s garage, and gives them new life.

“A big part of what we do is we just want to make bikes available to everyone. We want everyone to have access to affordable bikes,” Rhind said.

“We add new parts, we mix and match them and we deliver a safe quality bike.”

Adam Rhind started Bathtub Bikes five years ago. He used to do bicycle maintenance in his bath in an apartment building to keep the mess out. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

Rhind quit his job of 15 years to start his business to follow his passion: vintage bikes. Especially road bikes made in Canada in the 1970s.

“We have people from the community who come here, and also people who love vintage bikes looking for something unique. Others just want to keep their bikes on the road,” he said. . “You get a rolling piece of art, that’s how we see it.”

“It brings the community together”

The store is full of used bikes, from modern kids’ models like mountain bikes and BMXs, to restored vintage road bikes.

“We work with organizations like Greater Forest Lawn +55 [Society] and the premises [Business Revitalization Zone] to put the connecting blocks together, so people know where we stand and that we are a resource to help them. »

The economy and inflation are particularly biting at Forest Lawn, where many were already struggling financially. Local agencies say affordable options are needed more than ever in all areas.

Models from the 1950s to the 1990s and beyond can all be found at Bathtub Bikes. The store uses different parts and restores bikes for resale. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

“Especially with inflation and soaring rental property prices [and] utility costs, people are looking for other ways to get around, go to school, work,” said Salwa El-Maghwry of Rise Calgary, a community resource organization for low-income Calgarians located a short walk from the bike shop.

El-Maghwry says the store meets the needs of the community.

“The rent was $900 [and] now they are $1300. And even just cycling as a family brings the community together,” she said.

“If you can’t afford to go to the zoo or festivals and events in Calgary, cycling in the community is one of the best things.”

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