Council open Bike Space to encourage Wellingtonians to maintain their bikes
Last updated 05:00, January 26 2017
There is a new, bright blue shipping container in town with a unique aim: to get your bike working.
Bike Space, a community workshop dedicated to demystifying bicycles, opened in Marion St on January 16.
The goal is to empower people to develop the skills needed to maintain their bikes, therefore getting more people out riding them.
It houses bike tools and work stands and, when it is open, there is someone on hand to provide helpful tricks and tips.
The workshop is a collaboration between Wellington City Council and bike repair workshop The Mechanical Tempest, which have partnered with local businesses and community members to keep costs down.
Garage Project has provided discounted rent for the current location.
The Mechanical Tempest member Arthur Price says the first week of operation was “really positive”, with a lot of interest and people stopping to see what is going on.
There are five mechanics who share the workload, with tools and machines to help with bike problems such as recabling brakes, as well as gear and wheel adjustments.
The mechanics are there to give guidance and share advice, but the idea is for people to do the work on their own bikes, Price says.
Mechanic Sylvie Froncek says it is about putting tools in peoples hands and sharing knowledge so others become confident fixing their own bikes and being out on the road.
Workshop environments are traditionally male-dominated, she says, and she hopes to make this a “safe space” for women to feel empowered to use tools and be independent.
Council transport choice coordinator Hugh Wilson says Bike Space came together quickly over the course of a few months.
The space has a budget of $12,000 and Wilson says the council funded it as a way to encourage and support people to ride bikes as an affordable mode of transport and help reduce congestion and emissions in the city.
The container is easily transportable on a truck, taking about five minutes to be placed in its current location, he says.
They will soon begin to look for locations beyond March 23, when their current arrangement with Garage Project ends.
Bike Space is open in Marion St from Tuesday till Saturday, 11am to 6pm, until March 23.