'Bike Bank' launches in Renfrew County for those who want a bicycle

At Yantha Cycle in Pembroke, volunteers Bob Peltzer, Adam Yantha, Ron Moss and Pat Krose receive bikes from the local OPP (OVCATA)

The Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance has launched a new service in the hopes of getting everyone in the Ottawa Valley a bicycle who wants one. 

Volunteers with OVCATA have started a 'Bike Bank,' as they're looking for donated bikes that can be fixed up and used by those who need them within the community. 

"Young or old, a bicycle can transform someone's life," OVCATA co-chair Pat Krose said in a news release.  

"A bike can give you a sense of independence and freedom and make you stronger, healthier and happier. For the people who need and want a bike but can't afford one, we hope the Bike Bank will fill an important need."

Members are said to be collecting bikes from the OPP, residents, bike stores, waste sites and other places to try and get them in working order for those who need them. 

The group said 34 unclaimed used bikes were donated to OVCATA from the OPP that had been warehoused for several years.

"Some are in good shape, but most need work," Krose said. "Fortunately, we've got some good people who love bikes working on them."

Those who want a bike, to donate one or to volunteer can email BIKEBANK@ovcata.ca.