For the last several years, Sudbury Cycles Kids Bike Exchange had two bike exchanges each year both of which took place at Tom Davies Square. It was decided that there were, for a variety of a reasons, youngsters out there that needed bikes but were either unable to get to or go to Tom Davies Square. Therefore, for this year’s second exchange it was decided to relocate the event to an area of the city where there was a need and give a bike to a child, along with a helmet, where no trade or cash donation was expected.
The idea was no sooner born when along came a chance meeting with member of Neighbourhood Policing Unit (Bike Cop), Constable Cameron Kidder. Cameron was familiar with the neighbourhoods that would benefit from this programme and as well as the agencies, that would be able to identify those kids that could use a bike.
It was decided Thursday the 16th of July was to be the day and the parking lot at Ryan Heights was chosen to be the location. The Bike Exchanges’ complete stock of 19 checked over bikes were taken to Ryan Heights and after 2 hours, there were only four left.
Each child getting a bike also received a helmet thanks to the kindness of the Sudbury and District Health Unit. Helmetless children on bikes, who happened to show up to see what was going on, were also provided with a helmet.
Along with three Sudbury Cycles Kids Bike Exchange Members, Rachelle Niemela, Carol Craig, and Glenn Murray attending, Officer Cameron Kidder, who was on paternity leave, came out along with four of his Neighbourhood Policing Unit buddies whose very presence added a major plus to these activities.
Also in attendance were several members of the various social agencies such as Sudbury Housing, the CAS, NOAH, and APANO as well as Ward Five Councillor Robert Kirwan.
To say a good time was had by all is an understatement. Nothing beats the sound of little guys and gals testing out the bells on their new bikes, racing a Bike Cop up the street, or shouting “Mom, look at my new helmet”.
Wonder what the folks on the bike exchange will do next year to top this? Well for starters, they’re going to definitely need to find some more bicycles.