Charlie’s Supporter Spotlight

Dark Horse Flyers Club & Dukes Cycle
Interview with Jon Houle, Vice President of the DHFC

This season’s Supporter Spotlight is on the Dark Horse Flyers Club (DHFC) & Duke’s Cycle. The DHFC recently adopted Charlie’s as their new club charity. We are so appreciative of the support Charlie’s is receiving for the fall Build-a-Bike programs and want to thank Jon from Dark Horse Flyers Cycling Club and Lisa from Duke’s Cycle for coordinating the donation of 30 sets of front lights (donated by Outdoor Gear Canada), locks (donated by Dark Horse Flyers Cycling Club)and helmets (donated by Trek bikes) and rear lights and bells (donated by Cycles Lambert ) for our Build-a-Bike program graduates!


What made the club want to support Charlie’s FreeWheels?

The Flyers were looking to support a local charity that aligned with our Club’s Mission and Vision and ideally supported youth initiatives. Our Club’s vision is to promote and grow the sport of cycling in all its forms, and it aligns with Charlie’s mission to mobilize, empower, and engage youth through bikes. As we’re a downtown Toronto–based club (many of our members live only a few minutes’ ride away), the partnership just seemed like a natural fit!

Where’s the team’s favourite place to ride?

Ooh touchy subject, I might get in trouble here…if you ask the mountain bikers, they’d probably say the Don Valley. The roadies would probably say routes like Stouffville, the Nuke ride, or Schomberg! And the cyclocross/gravel gang is always out finding some epic gravel roads in unexplored places. All to say, with over 250+ members we ride everywhere, so it’s hard to pick a favourite!

What’s your favourite thing about bikes?

I love that it’s a healthy pursuit that allows me to not only better connect to local neighbourhoods and make friends but also lets me explore new locations anywhere I go.

What are you looking forward to working on with the Charlie’s team in 2017?

I think our first efforts to equip Charlie’s fall cohort with helmets, locks, bells, and lights was a huge success! A huge and sincere “thank you” goes out to Lisa Stockus at Duke’s Cycle for her efforts in coordinating with suppliers to obtain amazing donations from Bontrager/Trek, Cannondale, Outdoor Gear Canada, and Cycles Lambert.

Going forward, we’d love to run a “parts bin drive” to get additional unused parts from members for Charlie’s to use with their classes. We’d certainly love to continue supporting Charlie’s classes with equipment in conjunction with our partners. Lastly, we’ve also kicked the tires as to how we could help Charlie’s with road riding skills development, an important item toward safe riding in Toronto’s city street.