If you have given up on riding that spare bike you keep banging your shin on in the shed, here is a program that will take it off your hands and get it back in to use for someone who needs it.

The Discovery Routes ReCycle Bikes Program is up and running again this year.

Organizers say what began as a small, volunteer-driven program aimed at providing opportunities for youth to participate in local bicycle programs has grown dramatically. Since 2015, volunteers with the Discovery Routes’ ReCycle Bikes Program have tuned up and distributed over 200 bicycles.

The benefits of the program are as widespread as its success. Not only does the program get more people out enjoying the incredible network of trails in and around North Bay, it also provides access to individuals with limited transportation options; fosters a healthy and active community; provides opportunities for volunteers to learn bicycle repair skills; diverts waste from the local landfill; and, with more bikes on the trails and streets, there is a greater demand for safe cycling infrastructure.

The program is truly a community effort and would not be possible without community support. Organizations involved in the program include the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, Laurentian Ski Hill, Community Living North Bay, and North Bay YMCA. All donated bikes are restored by volunteers to a safe and operable condition and Discovery Routes works closely with a wide variety of community partners to ensure that each donated bicycle is given to a deserving recipient.

Bikes can be dropped off at the North Bay YMCA at 186 Chippewa Street West until June 23. In exchange for each donated bicycle in good condition, Discovery Routes will issue a $25 charitable tax receipt. The program is also accepting cash donations online to cover the costs of parts and other program expenses. All the details are on the website http://discoveryroutes.ca/recycle-bikes/.

Anyone interested in developing their bike maintenance skills by volunteering with the program is invited to contact Discovery Routes.