Calgary bike store making cycling affordable and accessible in Forest Lawn
Bathtub Bikes has a simple mission: access to bikes for everyone
Adam Rhind used to fix up old bikes in the bathtub in his apartment to keep the mess to a minimum.
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 store that takes bikes destined for the landfill, or sat for decades covered in cobwebs in the back of someone's garage, and gives them new lives.
"A big part of what we do is we just want to get bikes to everyone. We want everyone to have access to affordable bikes," said Rhind.
"We add new parts, we mix and match them and we provide a safe quality bike."
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 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 look at it."
'It brings the community together'
The store is packed with used bikes, from modern kids models like mountain bikes and BMXs, right through to restored vintage road bikes.
"We work with organizations like the Greater Forest Lawn +55 [Society] and the local [Business Revitalization Zone] to put the connective blocks together, so people know where we are and that we're a resource to help them out."
The economy and inflation are biting particularly hard in Forest Lawn, where many were already struggling financially. Local agencies say affordable options are needed more than ever across the board.
"Especially with inflation and the cost of rental properties skyrocketing [and] utility costs, people are looking for alternative ways to get around, to school, to work," said Salwa El-Maghwry with Rise Calgary, a community resource organization for low-income Calgarians that's a few steps away from the bike shop.
El-Maghwry says the store ties in with the community's needs.
"Rent used to be $900 [and] now they're $1300. And even just riding bikes with family, it brings the community together," she said.
"If you don't have the finances to go to zoo or festivals and events in Calgary, riding your bike in the community is one of the best things."