Haida Gwaii Bike Re-Psych volunteers are pictured working on bicycles with community members in this submitted photo. At the regular Village of Queen Charlotte meeting on Monday, June 15, 2020, council approved a staff recommendation to allow Bike Re-Psych to reopen at the bike shed behind the Queen Charlotte Youth Centre, subject to conditions. (Haida Gwaii Bike Re-Psych/Facebook photo)

Haida Gwaii Bike Re-Psych allowed to reopen behind youth centre, with conditions

Bike society founder ‘happy to comply with the stipulations’ set out by Village of Queen Charlotte

Following an eviction email, a delegation heard by council, letters of support from members of the public and meetings with staff, Bike Re-Psych is expected to remain in its home behind the Queen Charlotte Youth Centre.

Founder and director Steve Querengesser told the Observer the volunteer bicycle society, which earlier this month was at risk of eviction, will now be able to move toward reopening the long-standing bike shed this summer with a COVID-19 safe work plan in place.

At the regular council meeting on June 15, chief administrative officer Lori Weideman recommended that council allow Bike Re-Psych to reopen at the bike shed subject to conditions.

Weideman’s report detailed how she had provided a verbal, operational update to council on Feb. 19 prior to sending an email to Querengesser on Feb. 24, to notify him that the village would be taking over exclusive use of the bike shed at the youth centre, effective March 23, due to “ongoing issues with challenges between the youth program and the Bike Re-Psych program.”

“These issues had been raised with Bike Re-Psych over the years and a Bike Shed Terms and Conditions of Use document was created to help address some of them. Bike Re-Psych also committed to paying for a sign that would indicate how to access their service, hours of operations and whether it was open or closed. To date this has not been supplied,” her report to council said.

“While the Village still supports the work that Bike Re-Psych does for the community, we had reached a point where the challenges and benefits were difficult to weigh.”

However, Weideman sent the Feb. 24 eviction email to the wrong address and Querengesser did not receive it until April 1, after he contacted her to discuss opening Bike Re-Psych in line with pandemic rules.

Querengesser then pleaded his case at the regular council meeting on May 20, which sparked more than 10 letters of support from members of the public who wanted the bicycle repair services to stay put.

Along with councillor Jesse Embree, Weideman went on to meet with Querengesser on June 9 to discuss options for continuing service at the bike shed.

ALSO READ: Haida Gwaii Bike Re-Psych at risk of eviction

The resulting conditions for reopening at the bike shed include developing a formal legal agreement for use of the space, with the addition of review periods, conflict resolution and breach of contract conditions.

Other conditions included Bike Re-Psych providing proof of general liability insurance of $1 million with the Village named as an additional insured, ensuring that all volunteers working with youth complete criminal records checks, and providing a sign that indicates where to access the bike shed, the hours of operation and contact information.

Councillor Lisa Pineault seconded a motion to approve the recommendation made by Embree, who said he was glad staff had taken the time to “try and work through the issues.”

“Hopefully we can have a better working relationship between the youth centre staff and Mr. Querengesser moving forward,” he said. “We saw how valued this is by the community. I know I value it myself.”

ALSO READ: Village of Queen Charlotte deactivates controversial ‘snitch line’

Querengesser told the Observer Bike Re-Psych would be “happy to comply with the stipulations and really hopes to be able to work with the youth centre management to provide programming for youth.”

“We acknowledge that we should have had a sign up much earlier with hours of operation etc., as well as how to access the services much earlier, and have apologized for the delay in its implementation,” he said, adding that a sign is already in the works thanks to Haida Gwaii Signs and Designs.

He also said Bike Re-Psych is communicating with DIY bicycle repair organizations across North America about how they are gradually reopening and gathering ideas.

“We will be developing and submitting our COVID-19 safe work plan after the youth centre has shared how they will be operating,” he said, adding that they are also considering changes to their hours of operation and are looking for volunteers. “Currently if anyone needs help repairing their bicycle, please contact us through the Facebook page.”

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CyclingQueen Charlotte

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

50 YEARS AGO (1970): Highways Minister Wesley Black visited the islands and… Continue reading

On the Wing: Interpretation of the natural world

By Margo Hearne It’s summer on Haida Gwaii. A quieter time for… Continue reading

Editorial: Hello and haawa Haida Gwaii

An introduction to Local Journalism Initiative reporter Karissa Gall

More parks, trails and protected areas reopen for local day use on Haida Gwaii

Council of the Haida Nation announced more reopenings on Friday, July 3

PHOTOS: Haida Gwaii residents mark Canada Day with mini parade and more

Rainmakers also performed on Canada Day, but singer Julia Weder said they call it ‘occupation day’

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Most Read