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Big Bike Giveaway is back, giving free bikes to Ukrainian refugees and Londoners

Big Bike Giveaway.
Big Bike Giveaway. Didi Pinto/Facebook

The Big Bike Giveaway is back and ready to give out hundreds of free bikes.

For the past nine years, Monica Hodgson and her husband have collected bikes, repaired them, and given them out for free.

Since then, they’ve given away about 2,500 bikes to “anybody that requires a leg-up and would appreciate a free bicycle, mostly due to social or economic issues, (some) help getting ahead from poverty (or) lifestyle changes,” Hodgson said.

Read more: London, Ont., non-profit on track to hand out 500 free bikes thanks to storage space donation

The journey began in their backyard when Hodgson’s husband, Shayne, offered to fix bikes around the neighbourhood.

“We started noticing it in Wortley Village where we lived a number of years ago. People would be riding around on these clunky bikes and Shayne would offer to take it home and fix it and bring it back to them,” Hodgson explained. “And then we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we collect and give away bikes for free?'”

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And so, the husband-and-wife began collecting bikes and repairing them, giving out roughly 500-600 free bikes a year.

Co-founders of Big Bike Giveaway, Shayne and Monica Hodgson. Provided by Big Bike Giveaway

Read more: Kindness of strangers propels B.C. cyclist on journey to raise funds for mental health

Before COVID, the couple would host a one-day event each year where Londoners in need of a bike could “shop” around and take one home.

They’d also donate some bikes to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper Program as well as various schools across the city.

“Right now, we’re working on the newcomers from Ukraine coming in and they need bikes,” said Hodgson.

Those in need of a free bike can head over to Big Bike Giveaway’s website to register.

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-With files from 980 CFPL’s Devon Peacock

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