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Innovation and Bikes

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Both Chris and I are process oriented and we realized at our first swap that we couldn’t handle the volume of bikes at our swap events without software.  We did start with paper, moved to a packaged POSsystem, to customized POS, wrote out requirements for server-based VB software, then after the CBC Gem show about us a coder came forward and coded our requirements in C# to cloud-based fit-for-purpose software.

We tried to get access to Canada’s National Stolen Bike database, but the RCMP, police, and even the Justice department said that Bike Index is far more relevant and timely. When we. designed and patented our bike swap software we partnered with Bike Index to check that any bike in our swap event hasn’t been reported as stolen.  We also have the only bike swap software in the world. We’ve spoken at local, municipal, provincial, national, and international innovation, sustainability, and bike events for the last 10 years about what we do to prevent bike theft.

Alberta Bike Swap also designed (and patented) bike racks for our event use and anyone that needs to promote cycling to / from their events. These bike racks are used almost every weekend during the spring and summer, and we’re honoured to be able to help other groups.

We’ve also supported the circular economy for well over a decade. What’s the circular economy?  It’s repairing, reusing, and recycling bikes, bike parts, and keeping those bikes out of the landfill. By tech checking every bike, making sure the bike fits the purpose and rider, registering those new bike owners on Bike Index, then providing bike safety so that the person rides their bike.  Just giving a person a bike isn’t enough, they have to feel safe and confident while riding. We at Alberta Bike Swap deliver a full circle of bike reuse.

Laura Grant

We glanced at other cyclist while cycle commuting in January 2005, spoke at the bike racks, and we’ve been together since.