Community bicycle workshops: what are they? How do they work? What do they contribute?

This site is to collect together emerging research and information on community bicycle workshops. In a workshop, you get to fix your own bike, there is a stack of secondhand and donated parts to help you, and some volunteers to assist. Workshops have diverse origins including community development networks supporting social justice, anarchists and anti-car movements, bike enthusiasts, and others. They exist in many countries, and have grown since the 1990s in many towns and cities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Southern Africa, right across Europe, Australasia, and beyond. We (the authors of this site, see About tab) became interested when we realised almost nobody had catalogued the rise of these workshops and their contribution to ‘community economies’ .

Currently (early 2015) Simon Batterbury, a geographer at the University of Melbourne, Australia, is on a  Fellowship at the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies to explore workshops in Germany, Belgium and France.

In the words of  the French l’heureux cyclage network: “Un atelier vélo participatif et solidaire concentre dans un lieu des vélos, des pièces détachées, des outils et des animateurs qui donnent des conseils aux cyclistes”. Simple.

Any comments? See About tab.

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4 Comments

Filed under bicycle workshops, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Community bicycle workshops: what are they? How do they work? What do they contribute?

  1. loiteringwithintent

    Hi Simon, do you know about the London Bike Kitchen? http://lbk.org.uk/ lovely place in Haggerston/Hoxton. Not cheap tho….

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  2. Geoff Smart

    Hi Simon you did not mention the workshops in Melbourne such as Ceres, Back2Bikes ( where I volunteer ) and Cycle Saloon

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    • Hi , you are right. Goodness me, the Bike Shed at Ceres can be disappointing. Hopefully, they can learn to open up promptly, and shed themselves of the rudeness to customers I have seen tens of times now. I was initially going to do some interviews there, since it is a longstanding place I have been visiting since 2004, but not at the moment thanks. Too many friends have been burned, and resigned or not returned. In order to do objective research I think I should leave this one out. I did write to Back2Bikes and got no reply. Maybe when I am back in Melbourne in May 2017, Ruth and I can get in touch. Cheers, Simon.

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