Bike Pirates recycles broken bikes to make cycling more accessible

bike pirates
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter

Now this is something I might have expected to see in Copenhagen where cargo bikes are omnipresent, but in Toronto? Two cargo bikes, carrying bicycles, yet? So at the next red light (because cyclists stop at red lights, you know) I caught up and asked what it was all about.

It turns out they are taking bikes donated from bike shops around town to Bike Pirates, " an autonomous organization whose mission is to empower cyclists and make bicycles more accessible." I had passed it many times but never knew it was more than just a bike shop. They explain:

We provide low cost bikes and parts to the community
All of our bikes and the majority of our parts are donated. Our volunteers fix them up and return them to the public at affordable prices or by donation. Selling affordable, refurbished bikes not only diverts old bicycles from the garbage stream, but also makes bicycles more financially accessible, helping put more cyclists on the streets of Toronto.

They also teach bike repair, provide a depot for bike parts, donate bikes to charities and support other organizations, like my favourite Charlie's Freewheels.

After visiting Copenhagen and seeing the incredible bike culture that a city can have, it can be depressing, cycling the streets of Toronto, where the Mayor thinks roads are for cars and trucks and cyclists have nobody but themselves to blame if they get killed and they tear up brand new bike lanes just to make their point about who rules in this town.

laLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

But the cargo-bike driving guys from Bike Pirates just made my day.

Bike Pirates recycles broken bikes to make cycling more accessible
Not only that, they move them by cargo bike!

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