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Our Community Bikes is the best known project of PEDAL. It is a full service repair shop, bicycle recycling depot and an educational workspace for people who wish to repair their own bikes or learn how to do so.
Our Community Bikes was started in 1993 as a project of BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation). The original idea was to provide a do-it-yourself bike shop and recycling service to commuter cyclist in Vancouver. In the spring of 1999, BEST transferred OCB to Pedal Engery Development ALternatives and a new non-profit society was born.
We encourage people to come in to work with us on everything from fixing a flat time to bleeding hydraulic disc brakes. We have nearly all of the tools, parts and accessories you might need to tweak or complete your dream bike. Our shelves and bins are stocked with new and used parts, and our mechanics do their best to help you figure out with that weird sound is, or why your 10 speed has been acting like a single speed.
OCB also endeavors to be a safe space for all marginalized people which means that we have a zero tolerance policy on homophobia, racism, sexism, ableism, etc. As a collectively managed, non-hierarchical organization there is no owner, boss, supervisor or manager. All staff are mechanics, teachers and students and we are learning and improving all the time as individuals and as an organization. At the shop there is a sign stating our Ten Commandments. If it’s your first time at the shop, or you’ve never checked them out before, please take a couple of minutes to read them over.
There are 3 different levels of DIY bicycle repair available at Our Community Bikes:
Tool & Stand Rental Only – $6 / hour
This one is all about you; you can use all of the public tools at the shop, you get a stand of your own (or a truing stand) and the clock starts when you sign in at the front. There is no instruction provided at this level, so you will be using knowledge you already have or figuring it out as you go. There is a minimum shop charge of 2.50$ for any tool use under 15 minutes.
Tool & Stand Rental + Verbal Instruction – $12 / hour
This one is the same as above with the addition of verbal help from one (or several) of the amazing people that work at the shop. As we encourage self motivated learning in the shop, people opting for this choice should be asking their helper when they are lost/confused or lonely as staff will undoubtedly be multitasking. Ask as many questions as you like, the more the merrier
Tool & Stand Rental + Hands On Instruction – $18 / hour
The last self-help option with assistance is the same as above only your helper will be right in there with you demonstrating the new moves that you’re learning as well as talking you through the repair. We encourage this choice for absolute beginners to bicycle repair as it is the best way to become oriented with the space, the tools, how to use them and general dos and don’t of mechanics.
We Do It, You Relax – $48 / hour
Since we are also a full fledged bike repair shop, there is also the We Do It, You Relax option for those who are either too busy or not interested/able to do their own repairs or learn about them.
We are pleased to offer an Introduction to Mechanics/Maintenance workshop to individuals interested in learning in a more structured, classroom like way. It is hosted at Our Community Bikes on the first Thursday of every month starting at 6:30pm and finished around 9:30pm. We generally believe that a class of 6 people is the ideal size for effective hands-on learning with a qualified mechanic. The cost is 40$/person which must be paid upon registration. Please come in to Our Community Bikes during regular open hours to register. It is not possible to secure a spot in the class over the phone.
Women On Wheels
Another night that we are all stoked to offer is the Women On Wheels workshop nights. Twice a month we open our doors after hours (6:30pm to 9:30pm) to women and trans people in the community to come in and use the shop. The rates and set up are the same as regular shop hours, but we try to make the experience as comfortable and inviting as possible for people who may feel less than welcome in the male dominated realms of cycling and mechanics. Right now Women on Wheels is happening the first and third Wednesday of every month.
If you are new to the organization, come to one of our Volunteer Orientations. These are held the second Tuesday of every month at Our Community Bikes. We will give you a tour of the shop, a run down of how the organization functions and hopefully you’ll get a good idea of where and how you’ll fit in.
- Drop-in tool use
- Verbal and hands-on instruction
- Full service bike repair
- Women's Nights (Trans inclusive)
- Recycling facility
- Introduction to Mechanics Courses