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May. 24, 2022 | Tuesday
Local News
Lights for Bikes brings safety to farm workers
Grape Escape will be at Phil’s Valu Mart on Thursday from about 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to install more lights for farm workers

The team at Grape Escape Wine Tours installed almost 200 lights on farm worker’s bikes last Thursday and plans to continue the push for bike safety by installing more this week.

Richard Mell, Ian Mell and Diane Shaw, co-owners of Grape Escape, will be at Phil’s Valu-Mart on Thursday from about 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to install more lights for farm workers, with the help of about 10 to 12 volunteers who he said have stepped up to help. He said 400 more lights were purchased for free installation. 

“I kind of got overwhelmed last week, because I foolishly went down by myself. It was much busier than I anticipated,” Mell said.

But being busy was an issue he said he was happy to have to deal with; the Lights for Bikes initiative is a way for the company to give back to the community.

Initially, Mell said he planned the installations a couple times throughout the week at the Grape Escape location on Niagara Stone Road, but after feedback from several people in the community who work with the farm workers, he said the event was moved to Valu-Mart.

“We’re going to try to stick to the Thursday night at Valu-Mart where everyone kind of hangs. A lot of people who maybe didn’t have their bikes with them, I told them to come back.” Mell said he encouraged those who didn’t yet have lights installed to come back.

Some farm workers also came to the office last Sunday and he said the lights were installed for them then.

“We just wanted to do something more as well to show that we are committed to bicycle safety. We’ve been doing this for 13 years now, we’re not just a pop-up company. We’ve got a really good safety track record,” Mell said.

He said it’s a good time of year for the donation of lights because the “nights are closing in,” but he said it won’t benefit as many as it could because a lot of the farm workers are also heading back home soon.

“My ultimate goal, and the company’s ultimate goal, is if when you’re driving around at night and all you see are flashing lights, I think that would be pretty awesome,” Mell said.

Grape Escape Wine Tours is owned and operated by Richard and Ian Mell and Diane Shaw, all of whom, with the help and support of everyone on staff, have been committed to bike safety since the company's inception, Mell said.