EBC Executive Director Anna Vesala and BikeWorks Coordinator Alex Hindle getting their new space ready. Alex Hindle
The Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society is a non-profit organization known for its advocacy of bicycles as a means of day to day transportation. EBC’s shop, BikeWorks, near Whyte Avenue at 10047 80 Avenue, helps cyclists with do-it-yourself repairs, from flat tires to assisting people build their own rides.
EBC’s second location of BikeWorks is scheduled to open in McCauley during April at the former woodworking shop at 9305 111 Avenue.
One reason for deciding to spread out into a second location is the fact that the existing shop is extremely busy and crowded. Anyone who has ever ventured in there will know first hand the experience of seeing a front yard full of bike frames and old tires cramped together, while inside there can often be little room to move around.
“We’ve been operating at our current location in Old Strathcona for the past 10 years and the past few years have been super busy,” says Anna Vesala, EBC’s Executive Director.
“EBC has been interested in opening a second community bike shop to connect with residents and cyclists on the north side of the river.”
Vesala continues: “We’re excited that the addition of BikeWorks North with allow more people to access our services for do-it-yourself bicycle repairs, purchasing low cost second-hand bikes, donating unwanted bikes, bicycle rentals, bike cargo trailer rentals, and the many educational courses and bike events we host throughout the year!”
Originally planned to open in the old Alberta Cycle building on 118 Avenue, there was no firm commitment on when the space would actually be available. McCauley is an ideal location, because so many people in the area and nearby use bicycles, from all income levels.
“McCauley and the surrounding neighbourhoods have an amazing community spirit and have so many great events and festivals! We’ve met many people in the neighbourhood when we do mobile bike tune-ups and our youth bike repair program (the spoke) and they’ve often expressed the need for a bike shop. With our new space, we’ll be able to interact with cyclists, community groups working on active transportation, and residents who like to reuse, recycle and repair!” says Vesala.
The new location will offer the same services as the first, including the sales of refurbished second-hand bikes, offering courses on different aspects of cycling, and assistance with repairs. EBC will also be taking on the SPOKE program, an initiative originally partnered with the Edmonton Police Service Neighbourhood Empowerment Team which mentors youth who want to learn how to fix bikes.
BikeWorks North is 1500 square feet with a large bay door and a small upstairs office space. Although an opening date in April has not yet been set, a grand opening celebration will be held during the first week of June, which is Bike Month in Edmonton. If you would like to volunteer at BikeWorks North (both during current renovations or when it opens), email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (780) 433-2453.