A Manitoba bicycle shop is offering everyone a chance to get back in the bike saddle, no matter what physical barriers they may have, with its one-of-a-kind stock.
Prairie Velo Bikes in Winnipeg has bikes for literally everyone. They specialize in providing bicycles to those who might find biking difficult due to a disability but still want to get around.
People are finding the urge to get outside and move around, especially after this long cold winter. The cabin fever is waning and cycling in Manitoba always increases this time of year.
For those who are healthy, the ability to move their legs very often gets taken for granted. However, people who have issues with leg strength due to a neurological condition such as Multiple Sclerosis or stroke may think cycling isn't for them. For people with joint pain, injured hips or knees, cycling may also seem to be out of reach.
For Co-Owner of Prairie Velo Bikes, Brian Szklarczuk, the decision to sell bikes for those who need a little help was clear. Through his many years of being a professional rider, he realized that the biking industry tended to cater to just ten percent of the population. Brian wanted to sell bikes for every body type and get people out riding, rather than just sell bikes to the hard-core cyclists.
For those who suffer from balance issues, Prairie Velo offers a variety of styles of tricycles for more stability.
"Recumbent trikes are going to be easier to get on, they are going to be very stable, the wheelbase is generally longer….what does that mean for the rider? It means they are going to be less tippy," says Szklarchuk.
There are also electric bikes for those who suffer from weakness in the legs.
"All you have to do is turn your legs over, it does not matter how fast you are turning your legs over, or how slow…just keep your legs turning…it sends a signal to the electric brain of the bike, which activates the motor, and that basically gives you the support you need to keep the bike going."
It is clear that Szklarszuk and his partner Suzanne Druwe are passionate about getting people outside and enjoying the outdoors. No matter a person's body type, Prairie Velo wants to provide a bike that will get them out tooling around the neighbourhood.
The cost of an e-bike, tricycle, or regular bike does not need to break the bank, as financing is available with Prairie Velo.
The shop also has knowledgeable mechanics who can solve any issue people run into. They also sell materials that will help make the rider safer, and more enjoyable. Helmets, lights, pumps, and puncture patches for pock-marked prairie roads are all available on site.
With the cost of gas being at an all-time high, the option of using a bike to get around town is now a truly viable option thanks to Prairie Velo Bikes in Winnipeg.
The shop is open from Tuesday to Friday from 12-6 p.m. and on Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., located at 967 Wolseley Avenue in Winnipeg.