COLD LAKE - Rob McIntosh is using his passion for fixing for the greater good, through Brodie's Bike Repairs.
What started from humble beginnings in McIntosh's garage has grown into a fundraiser for the Lakeland Humane Society. Not only did they manage to raise $3,000 for the local animal shelter last year, but they are already well on their way to meeting that mark and then some.
Prior to COVID, McIntosh worked at a bike shop in town, so it was no surprise when a friend of his approached him about making some repairs on their bicycle.
He accepted the job and found it reignited his love for fixing.
“I was really enjoying it and my friend suggested we (offer) a service because bike shops were down due to COVID. I didn’t want to charge anything for it, I just wanted to see people getting out in the sunshine in a safe and socially-distanced activity,” said McIntosh. “Then the idea came up, why don’t we raise some money for charity and we thought, ‘oh, what charity.’ We thought of the Lakeland Humane Society because that’s where we adopted our dog from and they’re a really great organization."
After he pays back himself for any necessary parts, Brodie's Bike Repairs donates it all to the humane society.
Since just before Easter of this year, they have managed to raise just shy of $3,000, in addition to the $3,000 they raised last year.
“We’ve been really busy, things have grown this year, people are really cool about it. They tell their friends and coworkers and we have had a couple of shout outs from local businesses,” detailed McIntosh.
The warmer weather the area had seen in March had a little bit to do with it, but they slowed down during the April snowfall. But, McIntosh said, things have picked right back up.
Their intention is to continue offering their service to the community, so long it is safe.
“We will probably keep going for a little while longer, and with COVID restrictions too, we want to be careful,” McIntosh stressed.
It doesn't matter whether it's a flat tire or a brake repair, those bringing in their bikes are just asked to cover the cost of the parts and for a donation to the Lakeland Humane Society.
McIntosh said, “People are so generous when you mention it’s going to the humane society, people in Cold Lake are really behind them."
Everyone coming by for repairs assumes either McIntosh or his partner are named Brodie, but that's not the case.
“Brodie is our dog,” McIntosh noted.
In fact, the pair had adopted Brodie from the Lakeland Humane Society, which is why they felt it was such a worthy cause.
“Just seeing the level of effort and care they put into matching these animals with loving homes, that’s really important to us, because when we adopted our dog from them, he had come in as a stray as part of a little of strays, and he is just such an important part of our lives that we wanted to be able to give back to them and support them in repeating that,” McIntosh expressed.
Lending a hand to the humane society is really just a bonus for McIntosh, who loves tinkering away in his shop.
“It’s been great to see, in the last year, everyone getting out and spending time outdoors with their kids on bikes. Bikes are a really powerful way to experience the world and your community. If we can play a part in ensuring people get out safely and are able to enjoy Cold Lake and our community than that gives us a lot of satisfaction,” he told Lakeland This Week.