A bike rental pilot program has been given the green light to operate at Kelowna’s Knox Mountain this summer, with a goal to make outdoor recreation more accessible for people with diverse abilities.
The program, operated by not-for-profits Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) and Elevation Outdoors, will offer a fleet of standard and low-barrier bikes, and adaptive equipment. It aims to help people of all ages and abilities get around Knox Mountain Park and the downtown Kelowna area, and decrease stigma around recreation for people with diverse abilities.
The one-season pilot project would see all funds raised at the concession directly support both organizations, which each help youth via recreational programs. The concession would also create a work experience opportunity for youth and young adults in their programs.
“COVID has affected us all, and we hope that by making cycles available for rent gives people a chance to get outside and enjoy the upcoming summer,” said Shelley Buchanan Gilmore, CEO of CRIS. “Having the opportunity to add accessibility and inclusion into this rental plan is groundbreaking for our community, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
Mike Greer, executive director of Elevation Outdoors added, “Being able to use the equipment we each already have for our programs and use it for a further level of social purpose is just a great thing overall. Cycling has just gone crazy in the last year and the fact that both CRIS and EO are already in the cycling game, this was an absolute no-brainer.”
City council endorsed the project on Monday. The bike rental program is expected to start up in May 2021.
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