James Robert (Bob) Coates

Victoria, British Columbia

The quintessential good neighbour, Bob is the kind of person who is always willing to lend a hand. It was through his work at the Optimist Club of Victoria that Bob recognized a need to assist Victoria’s youth by  repairing bicycles and donating them to families at the inner city schools. Bob understood that receiving a new bicycle is a memorable moment in a young person’s life and made it his goal to put as many refurbished bikes as possible into the hands of young students. Over the past 25 years, Bob has repaired and placed almost 2,500 bicycles to families in need, bringing joy, and normality to many young lives. All year round Bob can be found with his garage door open restoring bicycles with purpose and determination. The Optimist Club supports Bob’s efforts by providing funds to purchase bike helmets and bike parts when needed. A much admired member of his community, Bob works with humility, humour and heartfelt generosity changing lives one bicycle at a time.


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I am both inspired and encouraged to continue my passion for refurbishing donated bicycles for deserving children and youth of Victoria. I believe that telling the stories of those who quietly perform a great deal of community service not only brings the recognition they deserve, but more importantly, it may inspire others to use their own time and talents for the benefit of the community.