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Paying it forward one bike at a time

Lauren MacGill

James Friesen checks out a bike as part of Pay it Forward month. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

James Friesen checks out a bike as part of Pay it Forward month. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

WINKLER - 

Cyclists in Winkler had the chance to get their bikes ready for summer while thinking about their physical and mental health.

Eden Health Care, Country Cycle, Time-Out Sports Excellence and Whitecap Coffee partnered with the Winkler Community Foundation to tune-up bikes and get the community thinking about physical and mental health on May 10.

“A bike is a great way to get out and meet your neighbours,” James Friesen said. “Our minds are connected to our bodies. When we concentrate on our headspace, the shape our bodies are in will determine what we feel like in our heads.”

“Especially after a long winter, it’s good to get the cobwebs out and get outside,” he added. “The sunlight and connecting with people just makes for better mental health. When a person rides a bike, life is good.”

Volunteers completed maintenance like filling tires, lubing chains and adjusting brakes for bikers who stopped by.

Friesen said Pay it Forward May has been going well so far. “The idea of paying it forward is such a simple thing,” he said. “You see people smiling, and the small acts of kindness make a big difference in life. You see all the creative ways businesses and individuals have found to pay it forward, and it’s an energizing month.”

The Pay it Forward van, donated by Triple E, has been traveling around Winkler and Morden to spread the word and encourage others to pay it forward.