Ryan Inkin is a man with vision, purpose and a strong sense of community. He runs Inkin’s E-Bikes independently from his home, helping people in and around Quesnel get connected with affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation. The “E” in E-bikes stands for electric. The bikes don’t require a license, insurance or gas and can be driven by anyone over the age of 16.
Ryan clearly loves what he does and is enthusiastic when he talks about the bikes.
“The bikes save energy and are cheap to run. They can go up to 50 km/hour and have a security alarm so people can’t steal them. You can plug them into any 110 volt outlet, so if you go on a trip you can plug them in anywhere. They are really great,” says Ryan, who gets around town on his own E-bike.
Ken Anderson previously sold the bikes. When Ken retired, Ryan stepped in, feeling it was important for the local community to be able to purchase the affordable eco-friendly bikes. The bikes come to him on consignment basis from the distributor in Vernon. Once Ryan sells one, the distributor will send him another. Ryan also repairs the bikes when needed, a skill he learned from Ken. Ryan has help from his wife Charlotte who does the bookkeeping, and from Ken’s daughter, Mary.
Quesnel is snowbound for the winter and spring, so Ryan is busiest in the summer months. This past summer he estimates 100 people in the local community bought one of the bikes. He lets people know about the bikes through word of mouth and by distributing business cards. Next year, he is thinking he may take ads out in the Quesnel Observer newspaper.
“Ryan is a wonderful man who is giving, supportive and patient, and shows others what is possible,” says Daniella Hansen from Prima, a local service provider. “He is an active community member, and works hard at living independently.”
Since 2002, Ryan has been connected with odd jobs, like lawn mowing and gardening, through Prima. His volunteering includes the Salvation Army soup kitchen, and security for the Quesnel Millionaires Junior hockey team. Ryan also delivers papers to make the extra money that helps support his self-sufficient life with Charlotte.
“The bike has helped Ryan be more independent. He uses it to get to and from work and Prima, and to any activities he wants to be involved in. It’s really great to see him being successful,” says Daniella.