Bike Co-ops - Counter Cultural
Bike co-ops, bike collectives and community bike shops can be found around the world. They are a unique spaces of recycling, skills training, repair and restoration; they are counter cultural in an era when it is cheaper to replace a whole printer than it is to purchase the ink cartridges. Bike co-ops allow people to fix a broken bike rather than replace it. At a bike co-op, what sometimes qualifies as a broken bike, can be fixed with a $5.00 part and a little bit of repair experience.
Transferable Repair Skills
Bike Co-ops teach mechanical problem solving skills, and many components of bikes such as bearing systems and hydraulic brakes can be found on other machinery as well, offering transferable skills. Bike co-ops teach that it is possible to repair a bike that is 50 years old and make it work like new with simple skills rather than replacing it with something new. Embedded in these skills are lessons of stewardship and maintaining the resources that are available to you.
First Point of Contact
New Hope Community Bikes was first connected to Project Journey, and specifically the biking related activities through Constable Adam Belanger of the Bruce Peninsula OPP Detachment. During a deployment in Pikangikum, Cst. Belanger inquired about the use of the bicycles in the Project Journey program and offered to provide a team of people who could support a mountain biking program in the community. One of the people selected for this team was former New Hope Community Bikes staff, and current board member, Nicola Gladwell. Nicola works as a School Mental Health Worker in the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation just south of Hamilton. Through Nicola, Cst. Belanger was introduced to other New Hope Community Bikes staff and volunteers, and a new team made a trip to Pikangikum in the fall of 2017.
Mountain Bike Program Goals
Biking is an ideal activity fit for an isolated community such as Pikangikum because it is both social and independent, meaning it can be done as a group but doesn’t require the organization that a team sport would require. Similarly, the size of the community is roughly 10 km from end to end, meaning every part of it can be accessed by bike relatively quickly.
"Activities are not only safe and positive, but they are meaningful to the youth. Experiences provide youth the opportunity to believe in themselves while connecting with role models and mentors that help guide their learning of important life skills which help them feel they have control over what happens in their lives." said Sgt. Chris Amell, OPP Special Project Coordinator - Project Journey
New Hope Community Bikes
1422 Main St. E Hamilton, ON L8K 1C3
CRA Charity # 8471 69844 RR0001
Learn. Fix. Ride.