August 1, 2016

For want of a s#!tty bike

Getting your bike stolen in Winnipeg sucks a little less now, thanks to the sometime owner of a battered red Schwinn (no, not that red Schwinn).

Twenty-one-year-old Winnipeg resident Sarah Arksey posted five or six copies of a profanity-laced poster after her "shitty bike" was stolen in broad daylight last week:

Arksey's plea caught the fancy of Free Press books editor/wine columnist Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson, who posted a photo of it to social media.

Soon Arksey had received 40 or 50 offers of replacement rides—from strangers.

"It's totally restored my faith in this city and humanity in general," she told the CBC.

The community's generosity inspired Arksey to start the Wolseley Bike Co-op, a nonprofit whose mission is to match donated bikes with riders who have had theirs stolen.

"Most people in this situation don’t get anywhere near the attention and support I have had over my shitty stolen bike," Arksey writes on the co-op's website. "Because of this, and the mass amount of people offering to donate their used bikes, I realized this shitty situation could really help a lot of people."

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