“I need to run some errands; I’ll be right back.”
That’s how easy it is to borrow a bike from Trail downtown business owner Daniel Haley. He’s loaning out bikes to anyone who wants a “free ride” but “at their risk,” he jokes with passersby.
After setting up Casa di Cioccolato, a chocolate, oil and tea shop on Bay Avenue, the man with a passion for “all things funky” began to turn an alleyway behind his business into a piece of art by suspending bikes from fire escapes and brick walls, some painted in bright colours and turned into flower baskets.
A few bikes in, and he had residents dropping their old rides off to add to “bike alley” between Bay and Pine avenues.
Fast forward to today, and Haley’s collection of donated bikes began to include some quality bikes that he couldn’t repurpose because they still had so much life.
“I didn’t know what to do with them, and I didn’t want to throw them out, so I hung them up in the alley,” he said. “And then they just started coming in out of nowhere. But these bikes were too nice just to let go to waste.”
His fleet of loaners includes a 15-speed Italian Racer and a “1962 beauty from a lady in Tadanac—it was her bike when she was a child.”
Lawyer Rebecca Smyth and Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore are among the people who’ve taken advantage of the bike loan in the past couple months.
Bay Avenue Music’s Christin Davis also took a bike out for a spin one afternoon.
“It’s a different way to get around town, especially around the waterfront,” she said. “I thought it was an awesome idea. I mean there are tons of people who are just running errands at lunch time or on their break at work.”